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10 thoughts on “Green Island

  1. Taryn Taryn says:

    A brutal beautifully written family epic that is set during the political turmoil in post WWII Taiwan The story of the Tsai family spans six decades and is seamlessly woven around actual events I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys realistic historical fiction and enjoys deeply touching stories about family Something had happened here once but other things had too and life went on We have to remind ourselves to remember The youngest daughter of the Tsai family is born in Taipei on the night that the 228 Massacre begins After the initial civilian uprising the governor general calls a meeting under the guise of reaching out and establishing peace Baba her father goes to the meeting in good faith and politely expresses his desire for a democratic Taiwan A few days later Baba is taken from his home not to heard from again for a decade When Baba returns home he is a changed man and unrecognizable to his family The youngest daughter our unnamed narrator who was a newborn when he was taken has a hard time relating to her father but he takes a special interest in her She is angry with him when he makes a decision she considers dishonorable but decades later she too has to choose between what is right and her family's survival Thousands of husbands disappeared in those weeks Sons as young as twelve Brothers Friends What better way to remake society my mother thought than to eliminate the teachers and principals the students the lawyers and doctors—truly anybody who had an opinion and a voice? Beyond the river execution grounds field after field irrigated with blood waited to be discovered Buildings would crush the bones This ARC was gifted rather than reuested I have to admit that I wasn't terribly excited about it The cover and title didn't stand out for me and I have a negative knee jerk reaction when I see the words love betrayal and historical fiction in the same paragraph That was unfair of me because this book was wonderful and I am so grateful that I got the chance to read it It had me hooked within the first few chaptersShawna Yang Ryan's writing is beautiful and poetic The book felt so deeply personal that I was surprised when I read the author's bio and it wasn't at least partially a memoir The setting is richly drawn I felt like I was actually in Taiwan and could almost feel the steamy humidity coming off the pages The author is able to explain the historical context without interrupting the story by sounding like a textbook It isn't necessary to have prior knowledge of Taiwan's history but I included a short timeline at the end of this review A general chronology helps me better understand the complexities when I read historical fiction about new to me subjects The loss of freedom isn’t a restriction of movement; it’s the unending feeling of being watched” Green Island sounds like a pleasant place but it is where political prisoners were kept during the decades of martial law in Taiwan There are some violent scenes involving torture While the story is mostly told from the perspective of the youngest daughter Ryan occasionally slips into the consciousness of other family members including the father while he is imprisoned Green Island isn't always the easiest book to read because of the brutality the characters experience but I couldn't put it down because of how deeply she made me care for the Tsai family After the narrator moved to the United States I longed for Taiwan I missed the interactions she had with her parents and siblings The author nailed the complicated relationships between family members The four Tsai children are so different and each play a different role in the family We don't spend much time with the oldest brother Dua Hyan but he becomes one of the most interesting characters His choices are the most self serving but like everyone else he feels his choices are made for the right reasons I realized that this was what Mama had meant by love A shared experience a shared history a shared trauma this is what made us a family No one else could understand itI thought of all the moments growing up when I had disliked my family—my resentment of my father my disgust at my mother my anger at my siblings Of all the families in the world why was I born into this family? I’d thought As if just dumb fate had brought us together Now I understood there was something stronger than fate Choice It was ugly and uotidian and lacked romance and that was exactly what gave it its strength I loved Baba and the bond he has with his youngest daughter Baba was a sensible justice minded man before he was taken When he returns he is hardened and paranoid The narrator is the only member of the family who has no memory of him and can't compare him to the person he used to be As a child she is unable to make sense of her father but decades later the political unrest of her home country follow her to the USA and she is asked to make sacrifices for her own family's survival She begins to see reflections of his life in her own journey There was absolutely no honor in survival The book repeatedly asks what would you sacrifice for the ones you love? Some characters will do anything to keep their families together while others sacrifice anything for their homeland and a better life for future generations Wei had told me a gentler era was encroaching upon Taiwan Brutality belonged to the previous decade Does brutality ever get old? I wondered Each generation brings a new group of men who have not yet learned the guilt of the last They need to feel bones breaking under their very own fingers to know for sure how they feel about it The narrator's life mirrors her parents life in big and small ways illustrating the endless repetitive march of history both in a societal sense and within a family One small moment I remember is the Tsai women pondering a lifetime with their husbands That he remained in some way unknown made the thought of a lifetime together bearable the mother Li Min in 1947 and Maybe what made the years bearable was to let all those bad feelings slip beneath the surface unacknowledged the narrator several decades later The ending is perfect and it echoes back to prior points of the book both the narrator's birth in the beginning and her discovery of how little she knows about the events surrounding her birth As the narrator grows and fills in the gaps of her knowledge she learns that life isn't simple and neither are the choices that people make Life moves on and complex lives are simplified for the history books and museums but the past is never dead gone irrelevant I gave my respects to the widow beaten the night that my motherhood gone into labor with me neither woman aware of the other or how their fates were tied however tenuously Maybe this is what it meant to be a citizen of a place—bonded to each other by the histories thrust upon us The setting and the characters are what makes Green Island special It was terrifying how trouble followed the narrator over the Pacific Ocean See The assassination of Taiwanese writer Henry Liu This is a book you can read again and again over a lifetime and get something different from it each time I learned so much from this book and it has caused me to seek out further information on Taiwan's history and the surrounding conflicts briefly mentioned in the text I've read enough about war to see that while the objective facts of these conflicts are different the impact on people is universally similar All the books I am about to list are all very different but they share similar themes All the Light We Cannot See especially the last chapter The Buried Giant The Constellation of Vital Phenomena And After Many Days and The Nightingale The world does not happen the way we lay it out on paper one event after another one word following the next like a trail of ants The rocks in the field do not preclude the flowing river fifty miles away; a man sneezes and at the exact same time a woman washes her feet a child trips and blood oozes from the broken skin a dog nips at a flea on its hinduarter and a bird swallows a beetle Past present and future too swirl together distinguishable but not delineated by any sort of grammar beyond the one our hearts impose What better way to follow that last uote than with a timeline ; The BBC has a better version but for my purposes here is the simplistic timeline of a complex situation1927 19491950 Period of Chinese Civil War in the Republic of China ROC between the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party KMT and the Communist Party of China CPC1945 Japan forced to return control of Taiwan to ROC as part of post World War II settlement1947 The 228 Massacre Discontent with KMT rule in Taiwan boils over after police violently handle a contraband cigarette vendor and kill an innocent bystander The citizens riot and and the government declares martial law Over 10000 people are killed and even disappear without a trace1949 KMT government and refugees flee to Taiwan after losing the civil war The war resulted in two de facto states the Republic of China ROC in Taiwan and the People's Republic of China PRC on the mainland The White Terror period in Taiwan begins with KMT leader Chiang Kai shek's reign and continues for almost forty years Over 140000 Taiwanese political dissidents are imprisoned and thousands are executed 1971 UN recognizes PRC as the sole government of China which a huge blow to the ROC1979 The United States formally recognizes the PRC and severs relations with Taiwan1987 Martial law ends see 1949 This was the longest period of martial law recorded at the time it was abolished1996 First democratic presidential election in Taiwan2000 50 Years of KMT rule ends with the election of a Democratic Progressive Party candidate for presidentPresent Taiwan's political status still controversial PRC claims Taiwan and ROC still claims mainland China The numbers of those affected listed above are also in contentionI received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review This title will be released on February 23 2016

  2. Aditi Aditi says:

    “The people have realized that Martial Law is not law A regime not established by law is devoid of the attribute to dispense law A regime which puts in a bunker the highest law in the land does not have the moral authority to say that nobody is above the law” Zulfikar Ali BhuttoShawna Yang Ryan an award winning American author pens her new book Green Island A novel that unfolds the story of a Taiwanese family living in Taipei when the Martial Law was incorporated and changed the future of this family Told from the perspective from the unnamed narrator who happens to be the youngest daughter in this family she traverses two decades under this law as well as facing the aftermath of this law by playing so many roles in her life This is not only her story it is the story of the people who faced the darkness of this Martial LawSynopsis A stunning story of love betrayal and family set against the backdrop of a changing Taiwan over the course of the twentieth centuryFebruary 28 1947 Trapped inside the family home amid an uprising that has rocked Taipei Dr Tsai delivers his youngest daughter the unnamed narrator of Green Island just after midnight as the city is plunged into martial law In the following weeks as the Chinese Nationalists act to crush the opposition Dr Tsai becomes one of the many thousands of people dragged away from their families and thrown into prison His return after than a decade is marked by alienation from his loved ones and paranoia among his community—conflicts that loom over the growing bond he forms with his youngest daughter Years later this troubled past follows her to the United States where as a mother and a wife she too is forced to decide between what is right and what might save her family—the same choice she witnessed her father make many years before As the novel sweeps across six decades and two continents the life of the narrator shadows the course of Taiwan’s history from the end of Japanese colonial rule to the decades under martial law and finally to Taiwan’s transformation into a democracy But above all Green Island is a lush and lyrical story of a family and a nation grappling with the nuances of complicity and survival raising the uestion how far would you be willing to go for the ones you love? The nameless narrator was born in the Tsai family on the night of February 28 Massacre an anti government uprising in Taiwan As per Wikipedia Taking its name from the date of the incident it began on February 27 1947 and was violently suppressed by the KMT led Republic of China government which killed thousands of civilians beginning on February 28 Estimates of the number of deaths vary from 10000 to 30000 or 1 The massacre marked the beginning of the Kuomintang's White Terror period in Taiwan in which thousands inhabitants vanished died or were imprisoned This incident is one of the most important events in Taiwan's modern history and is a critical impetus for the Taiwanese independence movementIn 1945 50 years of Japanese rule of Taiwan ended when Japan lost World War II In October the United States on behalf of the Allied Forces handed temporary administrative control of Taiwan to the Kuomintang administered Republic of China ROC under General Order No 1 to handle the surrender of Japanese troops and ruling administration Local inhabitants became resentful of what they saw as high handed and freuently corrupt conduct on the part of the KMT authorities their arbitrary seizure of private property and their economic mismanagement The flashpoint came on February 27 in Taipei when a dispute between a cigarette vendor and an officer of the Office of Monopoly triggered civil disorder and an open rebellion that lasted for days2 The uprising was violently put down by the military of the Republic of China and the island was placed under martial law The narrator then recounts her story when few days after the uprising the governor general asked the civilians in Taipei to come out and speak for the injustice which finally led to the narrator's Baba's arrest as he was apart of that event The narrator then grew up without knowing her father but a decade later her father gets back to their home He is changed man and was often subjected to being shunned in the public But later her father makes a terrible decision in order to save his family that finally comes back to haunt the narrator another decade later when she is thrown on the path on whether to save her father in Taiwan or to save her new found trustworthy friend in CaliforniaThe author's writing style is lyrical and syncs with the deep emotions laid out in to the story line The narrative is eually evocative and what makes the story even interesting is that the main character has no name most probably she wasn't named after her birth as soon after her birth her father got arrested and they had to evacuate their family home in Taipei The mystery as well as the history is laced beautifully since with the progress of the story it becomes obvious that something terrible might happen with the narrator a owing to her father's decision's conseuences And that kept me completely glued into the story line despite the fact that the story is too long and the author has incorporated the story with too many intricate details This family saga runs parallely with the effects of the Martial Law in post WWII Taiwan The background of Taipei is vividly painted into the story line thus giving it depth which will make the readers see the location with their own eyes I loved how the author drew Taipei's changing as well as fading landscapes with the history The time period is also uite well arrested by the author from the food habits to the language to the life style of the civilians to the culture to the hot sultry weather everything is captured strikingly and also its changes with respect to the time and politics The story ponders not only on this youngest daughter's life but also projects the stories of other family members their complications and everything The book in short i s not an easy on e to read because at times I felt uite confused with the story lineThe characters are well developed and their rich orientalism in their demeanor is well captured The character of the narrator's father goes through a lot of changes and evolves from being an understanding man to a casual one The mother's character is also nice but we don't get to see much of her action except her sacrifices and her loyalty towards her husband even though he is wrong at times The elder sister is the thoughtful one who took care for her parents The main character is the mirror through whom we can see the changes in the political strata as well as in the household and also in her life I loved the characters that made the story look richer and meaningfulOverall this is a captivating historical fiction where history of Taiwan plays a huge role in this family saga where various relationships and bonds are explored their weight of strain over the edges complicacies reunion holding onto one another sacrifices for the homeland as well as for the family Verdict For historical fiction fans this evocative novel is a must read Courtesy Thanks to the author Shawna Yang Ryan's publicist for giving me an opportunity to read and review her novel

  3. Connie G Connie G says:

    Green Island is a family saga and political novel about the Tsai family in Taiwan Taiwan had been a prosperous Japanese colony before Japan's defeat in World War II After the war Taiwan was under the military dictatorship of Chiang Kai shek's Kuomintang KMT the Chinese Nationalist Party Chiang Kai shek used Taiwan as a base for the KMT when Mao Zedong's Communist party took over mainland ChinaAfter a brutal incident on February 28 1947 the fictional Dr Tsai gave a short speech at a community meeting that criticized the government He was arrested a few days later and disappeared for eleven years held as a political prisoner by the KMT on Green Island He returned as a broken man to his familyThe novel is narrated by Dr Tsai's younger daughter It shows the compromises and betrayals that had to be made to protect the family by both her father and the daughter The narrator married an activist professor in California and they were under surveillance by the KMT spies in America The repercussions from her father's imprisonment and the political oppression of the KMT affected the family's lives for decadesTaiwan's history was fascinating and I found myself looking online for details Taiwan still is not recognized as a separate country by the international community because of its complex relationship with ChinaGreen Island is a well written novel by a Taiwanese American author who understands both the Asian and American cultures Shawna Yang Ryan is a sensual writer who draws the reader in to see smell taste touch and hear what she is describing Her characters are flawed people in situations where there often is not a good solution Their relationships are complex in a patriarchal society where the husband rules the household but Dr Tsai is a shattered man Green Island is an interesting story about how decisions can haunt a family in a difficult part of Taiwanese history

  4. Wilhelmina Jenkins Wilhelmina Jenkins says:

    A very good book I always enjoy books that introduce me to aspects of history with which I am unfamiliar Growing up in the '50s and '60s I always thought of Taiwan as a part of China where the enemies of Mao Tse tung were making a futile stand in order to retake the Chinese government a completely Cold War viewpoint I never considered the existence of the indigenous people of Taiwan or their struggle against the oppressive Kuomintang who took over their island much less their earlier history of colonization by the Japanese This book shifted my viewpointThe author also does a very fine job of examining the cost paid by those who stand up against oppression as well as the compromises that are made in the attempt to protect oneself and one's loved ones The book is filled with betrayals of all kinds but shows just how difficult the choices can be when the characters are faced with ruthless opponents No one comes out sueaky clean No one escapes damage These very human characters are followed through history from an uprising in 1947 on the night of the protagonist's birth through her immigration to the USA and her trips back to Taiwan to visit her aging parents The political struggles in Taiwan follow her throughout the book There are a few bumpy transitions as she moves through time in a nonlinear manner and switches to the viewpoints of other characters but as a whole the author does a fine job of telling a complex story that has not been sufficiently explored I'm very glad that I read this one

  5. Monica Monica says:

    I picked up Green Island during a Best of Goodreads sale on This was in the 1st round pick of the Best Historical Novel for 2016 I've pondered this for several months and I simply don't have the bandwidth to craft the kind of review it deserves but here it goes The themes in this one include human frailty courage family mental illness entitlement importance of lineage honor loyalty integrity pride shameGreen Island is the story of Taiwan's violent and tumultuous history between 1947 and 2000 through the eyes of a family view spoilerThe story begins with a pregnant mother of 3 during the last year of Japanese occupation and the takeover by the Nationalists from mainland China on the island ala Chiang Kai Shek Yes Nationalists as in Make Taiwan Great Again The times are turbulent and the father is taken into custody for 10 years The disappearances were an island wide secret My father was not the only man who had evaporated It seemed everyone knew someone and it was simply unspoken this way we could not count the missing; we would not know for decades that the dead measured in the tens of thousands This was an extremely brutal time and the family has no idea whether he is dead or alive Into this brutal oppressive environment the unnamed narrator is born and the rest of the tale is through her eyes Ryan does an excellent job in creating the atmosphere of fear foreboding oppressiveness loneliness rebelliousness and helplessness through the characterizations Not knowing whether to mourn or wait for your husband weighs heavy over the years A very mild flirt of the mother with a shopkeeper leads to further isolation and shameHe looks up at her Is he perceptive enough to see that this is than mere manners? Does he notice the alarm in her gestures? The thought will not leave her head Desire counterbalanced by shameNot knowing her husband's disposition she will not allow herself to contemplate moving forward She must be vigilant against forgetting she tells herselfThe narrators grows older without her father and only knows that he went away She sees a man coming up the road that looks like her uncle but much thinner As her father reintegrates into the family he never talks of his time away He can no longer function in his old occupation and cannot do much manual labor Slowly but surely the family begins to see the mental and emotional damage that has occurred The father has become irrational and cannot control his outbursts The family continues to try to maintain some decorum and dignity in public places As my father left the restaurant my mother kept her eyes on the gold leafed goddess She sipped her tea which was weak and cold The tendril in her chest had bloomed full leaves and blossoms snaking around her heart choking her throat As women often do the mother begins to find fault with how she had coped with his absence All those naive canvases she’d painted of reunited families against idyllic landscapes She had considered only happy endings As the family begins to come to terms with his Baba fragile state the narrator sums it up Baba was like a carefully pieced together eggshell delicately cupped in Mama’s hands One breath and—glue would be no use the seams would open anew and all of us would scramble to gather him up Baba is paranoid As his oldest daughter marries a soldier he thinks the soldier was sent to spy on him Years pass and he is called to the city and the government threatens to imprison him again He lures a dissident back to Taiwan and the man is immediately imprisoned All of the town knows the father had betrayed his friend It is a source of shame and shunning for the entire family No one understands why he did this It's a disgrace The friend is released from prison after being tortured and the father is crazed with guilt and shame He tries to see the man and is kept from it Finally the man sends him a message Su Ming Guo had been away and had just recently returned He’d sent a letter to my father—no doubt monitored—that said he’d forgiven Baba It was the worst thing he could have said doubling Baba’s guilt Interesting how saying he forgave Baba was the cruelest response he could have given I can't imagine that shame would have that sort of impact in America I'm almost envious of a culture and society that has rules of decorum and standards of honor and where shame has a governing effect on the rules of civility and the behavior of a communityFast forward to the 1979 The narrator has married and has two daughters Her husband Wei Lin is a professor at Berkeley He has become an American citizen but is also Taiwanese dissident so it isn't safe for them to return to Taiwan for any length of time The narrator has become a well respected writer within those same academic circle The Taiwan government has their secret service and they are watching the family Wei has befriended and given aid to a Taiwanese fugitive Jia Bao as a part of an underground movement to fight for Taiwan independence from China There are some soap opera ish elements here but the crux of the story is that the narrator is writing Jai Bao's memoir for publication She has Jai Bao's notes and the Chinese government wants all copies of the notes and the book They threaten to take her father back into custody back home She complies but makes her own copies first and once they have the book and associated notes in uestion they kill Jai Bao Wei Lin decides the only honorable thing he can do is to take Jai Bao's body back to his wife in Taiwan The family returns and the daughters meet their grandparents for the first time Wei is taken into custody and tortured but eventually gets released due to US intervention Ultimately their marriage suffers under the strain and they divorceThe first half of the book set in Taiwan felt much stronger than the second Once the narrator comes to America the book becomes predictable and clichéd There is commentary in the writing that as the narrator and her family become Americanized they become shallow materialistic capricious entitled They aren't nearly as concerned about honor and integrity as their parents They are also not controlled by shame in the same way that the parents were In fact the I think on it the I realize that it's not that the first half was stronger it's that I liked the characters Perhaps there is some commentary that the soft easier self involved life in America eats away little by little the pride dignity and integrity of our parents and our ancestorsThe book gets its title from the name of the worst prison where the narrator's father was interned hide spoiler

  6. Book Riot Community Book Riot Community says:

    Shortly after Dr Tsai delivers his daughter the unnamed narrator of the novel he is taken away to prison during an uprising in Taiwan When he returns to his family ten years later he is a different man The narrator's relationship with her broken father will color her relationships and decisions later on in her life when she is a mother and wife living in the United States Green Island is a powerful tale of love and survival and the price of freedomTune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books All The Books

  7. Blaine DeSantis Blaine DeSantis says:

    I loved this book And before I review it I wanted to say that I have been on Goodreads for over a decade and never really got into having friends This summer my daughter had a college class with Jenny who has the Reading Envy blog and after my daughter raved about her in class I became a Goodreads friend of hers which begat other friends and thanks to those friendships I saw a lot of interest in this book Green Island I was the first person to get it from our library and was captivated from page one The writing is beautiful It is not a fast read No no But it is a book you want to slowly devour as the author mixes a family history along with the modern history since the 1940's of the island we now call TaiwanWritten from the perspective of the families youngest daughter it begins the night of her birth which also was a night of a massacre on the island and ends almost 60 years later By the way the narrator is never named in the book which to me is uniue We follow her family and her marriage We go from Taiwan to Berkley and then back to Taiwan We see Formosa become Taiwan we see Taiwan go from a Japanese possession to a Chinese possession and then an outpost for Chiang Kai Shek who became a key ally of the US And then Nixon goes to China and no longer is Taiwan favored and it is now the Republic of China as opposed to mainland China being the People's Republic of China You see the turmoil of the island and the people through the eyes of this family as well as the protests of the dictatorship that Chiang created There is a lot of great history here and I learned so much from this book and we see how the family suffers and endures over the yearsOne of the very few books listed as a Best Book of the Year that actually lives up to its reputation

  8. Taryn Taryn says:

    I don’t know nearly enough about Taiwan and its complicated history which fact swiftly became apparent as I read Green Island Ryan’s novel covers a sweeping number of years focusing on the ripple effects within one family of the father’s decade long imprisonment by Chinese nationalists His family assumes he is dead and his youngest daughter our main character can’t even remember what her father looked like because she was an infant when he was taken away Imagine the tectonic shift that occurs when he arrives back home years later a changed man integrating back into a changed family Her father isn’t the only one with political ideals to uphold The narrator once grown and her husband also find themselves drawn into a dangerous web of secret meetings and risky alliances I wish I had read non fiction on this topic before reading Green Island so I could have felt the weight of the suspense keenly The main character is so uiet and reflective her narration so understated some of the impact was lost on me If I’d had a better grasp on the historical foundation beforehand I might not have wished for someone to come in with a megaphone all like “THIS PART IS SCARY” or “THAT RIGHT THERE IS SUPER SIGNIFICANT” Bottom line for me research neededMore book recommendations by me at wwwreadingwithhipposcom

  9. Sarah Sarah says:

    DNF 20%I must reiterate that this isn’t bad by any means it’s just a bit too heavy for what I want right now Recommended based on what I’ve read of the book for fans of historical fiction and 20th century East Asian history

  10. aPriL does feral sometimes aPriL does feral sometimes says:

    The writing talent of author Shawna Yang Ryan in 'Green Island' which in conveying the emotional toll of what being born and living in a totalitarian state under martial law reuires of families friends and marriage is absolutely tremendous Ryan should win an award for 'Green Island' As far as I am concerned this novel stands side by side with George Orwell's '1984' What increased my shock and horror is 'Green Island' is fictionalized history not simply a literary extrapolation The experience of reading this book is the same as I imagine it would be if you sat down with your immigrant Jewish grandmother and she finally told you the complete truth of what happened in the extermination camps and how she had survived Those truths would probably cause you to be aware such survival meant she was left with fractured pieces of her self respect and naivety her beliefs and faith wrenched sideways her self image destroyed and her feelings of how people were basically good shatteredDaily life for aboriginal Taiwanese after 1947 when than two million Nationalist Chinese and their supporters invaded Taiwan to escape the victorious Communists of China is one of daily tension and fear watching every word out of your mouth being careful of every expression on your own face watching where you visit or with whom you talk For the next 50 years all political expression is repressed brutally and suspicion can divide wife from husband children from parents neighbors from neighbors Anyone can be made to inform through threats to your children and spouse or because of indescribable torture in prisons Schools no longer teach actual history; indoctrination is normalized If you were a young adult in 1947 your memory years later could get your innocent children killed so you tell them nothing when they speak of the overlord's garbage information and teachings as fact Worse the broken men who somehow survive decades of torture in prison who survived because they broke are ashamed when they come home and you are ashamed that they are your father brother son once protestors The broken ones cannot work you cannot admire or love them in public if you want to keep your job and maybe you find their broken state secretly disgusting or forever annoying perhaps their PTSD creates nothing but terror and fear but they are related to your children to whom you can explain nothing for fear of what the babes might accidentally say to the wrong people You can only watch as the children grow to hate this broken angry crazy man wishing he had diedThe nameless narrator is a young girl when her father comes home after eleven years in prison Later she learns all he did was speak his opinion during a meeting But at this moment she cannot believe this dirty smelly 'thing' was a Dr Tsai and her father It is some time before she understands life has currents both on the surface and far belowBetrayal of self family country losing face and self respect was never brought vividly to me in any novel I have read so far However I can speak what I think this is a fantastic read I do have some uibbles the second half of the book is weaker than the first part for one but the emotional tone of the book is perfect For that I forgive the novel of every fault Timeline history of Taiwan

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Green Island [KINDLE] ✿ Green Island ❃ Shawna Yang Ryan – A stunning story of love betrayal and family set against the backdrop of a changing Taiwan over the course of the twentieth centuryFebruary 28 1947 Trapped inside the family home amid an uprising that A stunning story of love betrayal and family set against the backdrop of a changing Taiwan over the course of the twentieth centuryFebruary Trapped inside the family home amid an uprising that has rocked Taipei Dr Tsai delivers his youngest daughter the unnamed narrator of  Green Island just after midnight as the city is plunged into martial law In the following weeks as the Chinese Nationalists act to crush the opposition Dr Tsai becomes one of the many thousands of people dragged away from their families and thrown into prison His return after than a decade is marked by alienation from his loved ones and paranoia among his community — conflicts that loom over the growing bond he forms with his youngest daughter Years later this troubled past follows her to the United States where as a mother and a wife she too is forced to decide between what is right and what might save her family — the same choice she witnessed her father make many years beforeAs the novel sweeps across six decades and two continents the life of the narrator shadows the course of Taiwan’s history from the end of Japanese colonial rule to the decades under martial law and finally to Taiwan’s transformation into a democracy But above all  Green Island is a lush and lyrical story of a family and a nation grappling with the nuances of complicity and survival raising the uestion how far would you be willing to go for the ones you love.

  • ebook
  • 570 pages
  • Green Island
  • Shawna Yang Ryan
  • English
  • 04 September 2015
  • 9781101874264