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The Scavenger's Daughters (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Kay Bratt
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (925 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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God Help the Child
A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.

Book Description

Having survived torture and imprisonment during China’s Cultural Revolution, Benfu escaped to find love with his compassionate and beautiful Calla Lily. Together they build a fulfilling life around the most menial of jobs—Benfu’s work collecting trash. As he sorts through the discards of others, he regularly discovers abandoned children. With unwavering determination, he and Calli spend decades creating a family of hand-picked daughters that help heal the sorrow and brighten their modest home. But all is not perfect and when crisis threatens to separate their family, Benfu—or possibly his band of headstrong daughters—must find a way to overcome the biggest hardship yet.

Inspired by a true story, and set against the backdrop of a country in transition, The Scavenger’s Daughters is a sweeping present day saga of triumph in the face of hardship, and the unbreakable bonds of family against all odds.

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews


    The Scavenger’s Daughters is the kind of novel I’d love to write, but never could. Simply told but beautifully rendered, the reader is swiftly transported into the hearts and lives of a Chinese family after the Cultural Revolution. Powerful and poignant, this story captures the heart of humanity. This is the kind of book that will get shared by friends and chosen by book clubs. A phenomenal story of life and love.” —Karen McQuestion, bestselling author of The Long Way Home

    About the Author

    Kay Bratt is a child advocate and author of the books Train to Nowhere, Chasing China, The Bridge, A Thread Unbroken, and the acclaimed memoir of the years she spent working in Chinese orphanages, Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage. She has actively volunteered for several nonprofit organizations, including An Orphan’s Wish (AOW) and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for abused and neglected children. In China, she was honored with the Pride of the City award for humanitarian work. After living in China for several years, Bratt now resides in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina, with her husband, daughter, dog, and cat.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 2178 KB
    • Print Length: 241 pages
    • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (August 13, 2013)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00B5KQNZU
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,439 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Thought-Evoking May 28, 2013
    Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    This is a story full of morals and lessons, each one will touch a spot on your heart.

    It begins with a boy...imprisoned, beaten, harmed, all because of his family background. All it takes is one act of kindness to change this boy's life and that of dozens of people. For when someone shows him this act of kindness, he vows he spend the rest of his life doing good for others.

    The boy becomes a man, a trash collector. In China, daughters are discarded and abandoned a lot. He finds them in the trash and he keeps them, feeds them, clothes them, provides them as love as he can. With all these daughters, he's relegated to a life of poverty. They don't live like other people, but they have love. They have each other.

    But what will happen to them all when he dies? He's very ill; he has no retirement, no savings; nobody is helping them.

    The lessons that sum up beautifully in the pages...

    -You can't judge a group as a whole by the actions of one or a few. There are bad and good in every bunch.
    -Never let pride prevent from you getting help if it's needed and available. Don't deny those around you a better life because you can't bear to admit you need help.
    -Karma happens. One good deed can change a well as your own.
    -One doesn't need material objects to have a fulfilling life.

    Very well done and thought evoking. I truly felt as though I stepped in another world. Chinese customs and stories and revelations about Mao's reign and just how the Chinese live in general kept me absolutely entranced. My only quibble: I wish the book had told us more about the romance between Ye Ye and Nai Nai, but this is the first in a series. I imagine there may be a prequel in the future--at least I hope so.
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    60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
    By Geoff33
    Format:Kindle Edition
    The Scavenger's Daughter is a modern-day novel that brings to our attention the dilemma of orphaned children in China through the story of Benfu, the trash collector, and the family of girls he and his wife, Calla Lilly, have raised. All of their girls were found abandoned on the streets, sometimes in the piles of trash Benfu sorts through. Over the years, adopted daughters have grown up and left home, making room for new girls who in their turn, grow up and leave.

    When we first meet Benfu, he is a seventeen-year old during the height of the Cultural Revolution, beaten and imprisoned for his family background. He escapes to the city of Wuxi, where he is befriended by Calla Lilly and her parents.
    But decades later, Benfu and Calla Lilly are old and tired, barely earning enough to feed their current family of six girls. They receive minimal assistance from the City Welfare Office; if not for the wages their eldest daughter Linnea brings to add to their tiny income, the elderly couple would not be able to continue caring for their children. Their biggest worry is becoming too weak and old to finish the job of raising the youngest girls, one of whom is blind, another a parapalegic.

    Knowing this, Linnea looks for ways to take over as the family breadwinner and goes into a business partnership and a hesitant romance with a young man who is the son of a government official; in doing so she goes against her beloved father's wishes. A casualty of the Cultural Revolution, Benfu mistrusts the government absolutely and he is convinced no good will come of this association.

    The Scavenger's Daughters is inspired by a true story. Author Kay Bratt spent five years in China, where she became actively involved with an orphanage.
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    25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this one June 20, 2013
    Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    It's hard to describe what this book is about because it is so deep. It really struck a chord with me about how someone can take a horrific past and create an amazing future.

    You will love the characters if you like complex people.
    You will love this book if you like books that make you re-evaluate how you view the world.
    If you want a book that doesn't shy away from intense emotional interactions, get this book now.

    I will look for the next in the series.
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    19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Glad this one is a trilogy August 13, 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition
    ...because I can't wait to read the next book!

    Author Kay Bratt lived in China for 5 years, and you can tell she brought a huge piece of China home in her heart. Her talented writing drips with local color. Being recently home from China myself, it's easy to imagine myself back there, as I get caught up in the story. You can feel her understanding of Chinese culture in phrases like, " China, the mother usually had the last word--or more accurately whispered it in her husband's ear and let him speak it."

    The story starts with a glimpse into a young man's suffering during the Cultural Revolution, and then cuts to modern day, with a suspenseful secret that happened sometime between. The main characters are endearing, and I found myself rooting for them to overcome the challenges they face.

    In our society, where people seem driven to acquire more and better stuff at all costs, this book was a beautiful picture of what truly matters: family. One can be happy with very little of the stuff we chase after, if you are surrounded by people who love you.

    ARC courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend. I can't wait to start Book 2 in ...
    A book rarely causes me to cry. I cried at least 3 times reading this book. A roller coaster of emotions. Read more
    Published 20 hours ago by AngieLM
    5.0 out of 5 stars This is a lovely read! The characters are interesting ...
    This is a lovely read! The characters are interesting, the story is heartwarming and we learn details of life in China pre and post Mao that we never learned in history class. Read more
    Published 21 hours ago by PJ
    4.0 out of 5 stars Great trilogy, was recommended to me by a friend ...
    Great trilogy, was recommended to me by a friend and I have recommended it to others as well. Well written.
    Published 1 day ago by Mary Beth Cotton
    2.0 out of 5 stars ... style of this author's made the book not a good read for me
    The style of this author's made the book not a good read for me. It was too much info at times and not enough at other times.
    Published 1 day ago by Vickey Maclin
    5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the characters
    Quick read that keeps your attention. Loved the characters.
    Published 3 days ago by Sheryl Vondracek
    5.0 out of 5 stars A real treasure
    "One man's trash is another man's treasure", and treasures are the little girls, that Benfu and his wife Calli bring to their home to love and raise in China. Read more
    Published 4 days ago by Jlene Harrison
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
    I so enjoyed the story line and all the characters. Well written, and so heartfelt.,capturing the hearts of humanity. A joy to read.
    Published 6 days ago by
    3.0 out of 5 stars A translation?
    The writing in this novel is so stilted I honestly couldn't tell if this was a book that had been translated. The moral of the story is beautiful and heart warming. Read more
    Published 11 days ago by joyfully centered
    4.0 out of 5 stars ... caught my interest from start to finish a very good read.
    this book caught my interest from start to finish a very good read.l
    Published 13 days ago by Cynthia S. Romano
    4.0 out of 5 stars Another Culture, Other Attitudes, Life Lessons for All Of Us
    Intriguing storyline of class struggle within China and the result of their one child political agenda. Read more
    Published 15 days ago by Deanna E Wells
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    More About the Author

    Kay Bratt is a child advocate and author who lived in China for almost five years and fell in love enough with the people to want to write about them forever. If you would like to read more about what started her career as an author, and also meet the children she knew and loved in China, read her poignant and best selling memoir titled Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage.

    From Kay: To be notified when new books are released, please sign up for my monthly email newsletter at or at this link:

    The Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters now has four books! See below for what order to read them:

    The Scavenger's Daughters
    Tangled Vines
    Bitter Winds
    Red Skies

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