Monday, July 07, 2008

Sky Burial...random thoughts


Sky Burial by Xinran.

I've been awfully irked with myself lately for joining so many challenges. So many that I rarely seem to finish them. But this book was truly an example of the good that comes from reading challenges. What would the chances have been that I would have read this book without Joy's A-Z Reading Challenge? I can honestly say, practically zero. But I needed an "X" author, so I picked this one up from the library. And wow...am I glad I did! This may well make my top five reads of the year.

But you know, it's hard to explain what I loved so much about it. I've read that it's a love story. And it is, but it's so much more than that. It's one woman's journey from China to Tibet to search for her husband who is supposedly lost in the war. Young doctors in China, Shu Wen and her husband, Kenju, are married only a few weeks before Kenju heads off to Tibet with high hopes of helping the people there. Just a couple months after this Wen receives word that her husband is killed. But no one seems to have any more information than that. Wen decides that she must go to Tibet to find her husband, so she joins the army as a doctor.

What follows is a thirty year journey to the truth. It is a heart-breaking, fascinating journey. Early on, Wen is separated from her fellow Chinese. But not before saving the life of a young Tibetan woman, whose story is equally as interesting as Shu Wen's. Because of Wen's kindness, this young woman then helps keep Wen alive. They are taken in by a nomadic Tibetan family who truly live off the land in this very beautiful, but very harsh land. Wen very slowly learns their language and their religion and their way of life.

You know what...I am really not doing this book justice. It's such a touching story. It's rich in culture. It's rich in beauty. It's rich in emotion. And yes, we do finally learn of Kenju's fate, which is a powerful story all on its own.

*****

If you have reviewed this book, feel free to leave a link in the comments and I'll be happy to add it here. Thanks.

Natasha at Maw Books
Medb at Medb's Montage
Melody at Melody's Reading Corner

*****

Read for:


The A-Z Challenge.

16 comments:

Chris said...

Ok, I have to get this one!! I was curious from the second you posted the title of it during the 24 hr readathon. And I didn't even think of it qualifying as an X authour...duh! lol...I swear Debi, if I was playing the points game, I think you'd win, lol. This sounds beautiful.

Debi said...

Chris,
I do hope you give this one a try! Like I said, I'm not sure if it ever would have caught my eye if not for the "X" thing. I really don't think any description of the book can do it justice...it's just beautiful. And a quick little read, too, which can be nice sometimes. :)

Jean said...

I may have to put this one on my list, too, not that there aren't enough on the list or in the pile already!

Medbie said...

I'm so glad you liked it! I always worry when someone reads a book I've really really enjoyed!

You were right in your review when you said that it is hard to explain what you loved so much about it, but, well, it just is so wonderful!

Again, I'm so glad you liked it! :D

And thanks for the link!

Debi said...

Jean,
I do think you'd enjoy it, and like I told Chris it's a nice short, quick read!

Medbie,
I know just what you mean...I almost hate saying I love a book for fear someone will read it because of me and then hate it. But I guess we all know that's bound to happen now and then, huh?

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

Like Medbie I was worried that you'd read this one and hate it and then say "what in the world was Natasha thinking!" I was even more worried that you were reading it for the readathon and hoped that it didn't put you to sleep. The large, vast open spaces, isolation, and quietness of the land could make you sleepy. I'm really glad that you enjoyed it. Like you, I don't think I would have discovered it if it weren't for the challenge.

kreed said...

You're going to have to quit reviewing books and making me want to read them or I am never going to shorten my TBR list! Oh well - a growing list is half the fun, right?!?!

Debi said...

Natasha,
I'm so glad I read your review...if not for you, I might not have picked up this little gem!

Kara,
There is something mighty fun about a big old wish list, isn't there?

incitefulmama said...

I believe this one has to be added to the reading list too *sigh* You just l;ike to keep me swimming in books,don't you? LOL

Bookfool said...

Actually, I think if it makes your readers think, "Gotta find a copy!" you've done the book justice. I'm going to rush right over and put this on my wish list!

Dawn said...

Another good review. You often leave me wanting to go get the books you post about (and I have several times LOL!)

I think you are reading faster than I can keep up with!

take care,
Dawn

J. Kaye Oldner said...

Had to laugh. I join rarely thinking I will finish. :) Even if I don't, it's a lot of fun. I get as many as I can and not worry about the rest.

jpderosnay said...

oh this sounds beautiful. i don't know what it is about your review but it just sounds so beautiful.

your tone totally captures how you feel about the book which makes it sound so good!

Debi said...

Rebecca and Bookfool,
I do hope you both enjoy it if you get a chance to read it!

Dawn,
I don't know if I believe you, girl! I've seen that list on the side of your blog and looks like you've actually got quite a bit of reading done this year!

J.Kaye,
Ahh, it is sooooo nice to know I'm not the only one!

JP,
Wow, thank you. That was such a sweet thing to say.

Megan said...

I think you did a fine job of doing the book justice - I'm definitely interested (and it looks like I'm far from the only one!). Another one for the ever-growing wish list! =)

Rhinoa said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it as I have it down to read for my X author too. Sounds like a lovely read and I am looking forward to it.