Sunday, June 7, 2015

"The Vagrants," by Yiyun Li

"The Vagrants," by Yiyun Li

In luminous prose, award-winning author Yiyun Li weaves together the lives of unforgettable characters who are forced to make moral choices, and choices for survival, in China in the late 1970s. 

As morning dawns on the provincial city of Muddy River, a spirited young woman, Gu Shan, once a devoted follower of Chairman Mao, has renounced her faith in Communism. Now a political prisoner, she is to be executed for her dissent. While Gu Shan’s distraught mother makes bold decisions, her father begins to retreat into memories. Neither of them imagines that their daughter’s death will have profound and far-reaching effects, in Muddy River and beyond. Among the characters affected are Kai, a beautiful radio announcer who is married to a man from a powerful family; Tong, a lonely seven-year-old boy; and Nini, a hungry young girl. Beijing is being rocked by the Democratic Wall Movement, an anti-Communist groundswell designed to move the country toward a more enlightened and open society, but the government backlash will be severe.

In this spellbinding novel, the brilliant Yiyun Li gives us a powerful and beautiful portrait of human courage and despair in dramatic times.

This is the book choice for the month of July for the book club.  What do I say about it?  It's a miserable book, and if the conditions of how the people live were like they were written in the book, gosh what a horrible life they lived.  I mean it was an eye opener that's for sure.

Just one day of drudgery after another, just trying to survive.  Each of the characters were touched in their own way by Gu Shan.  I honestly not sure what if anything I have to say in a positive way?  I did not enjoy this book at all, some parts were not necessary.

Stars out of 5 : 1  I would love to hear other people's opinions about this book, as all the people who wrote reviews on Amazon had high praise for it?  Me, I didn't get it!


  1. Oh dear, some books can be like that.

  2. I would love to read this now, just to see if I agree with you. LOL

  3. I just read mystery's but one like that would upset me. I never read about true life, I have had to much in my own life to live through

  4. I started it, but just cannot get into it right now...think there is too much else going on right now for me to concentrate. So many characters!


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