A Thousand Pieces of Gold – China – Adeline Yen Mah

pieces of gold

Why a booktrail?

Travel through China’s history via its proverbs

Story in a Chinese fortune cookie

If you’ve ever been fascinated by Chinese proverbs and wanted to know their origin and what they really mean, then this is the idea book as it guides you through a story of China and its people and reveals how proverbs are tightly linked to historical events and Chinese culture.

An ideal book to read in snippets for each chapter reveals and explains a different proverb. ‘Clapping with one hand produces no sound’ was one such example and ‘Little sparrows with dreams of swans’ gave good advice. Very interesting and a fascinating and easy to learn a little Chinese language itself as you learn of the country.

Place and setting

Pieces of gold book set in China
Shanghai
Hong Kong
Qufi
Handan
Chenliu

This is  a story of Chinese history  where each chapter is a a proverb but where the ultimate book is one fluid and fascinating account of a country undergoing change. It’s a remarkable feat to have produced an interesting and easy to read account of a country’s journey via its proverbs and belief system. It takes us all around China across the ages and is also the journey of Adeline Yen Mah who has written this in honour of her grandfather who told her stories using proverbs when she was a young girl using proverbs

Proverbs mirror the past to benefit the present

From the rise of First Emperor (Qin) of China, Chairman Mao’s reign, the handover ofHong Kong and the cultural revolution, nothing is left wanting yet despite the many places and historic moments we travel to with her, there is never a sense of an overload.

From Shanghai, across the dynasties to more modern times such as the handover of Hong Kong to China, this is a book which does transport and allow you to see chinese events and history through the eyes of the country’s people. Adeline is a great narrator and travels with you, guiding you through not just her country’s but her own turbulent times. With a language and linguistic insights too, this really is both a story, a history and a handy reference guide to keep and treasure.

Bookish musings

Perfect to read anytime but on Chinese New Year, a fitting opportunity to discover more about this fascinating country

Happy Chinese New Year!!

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