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Trials of Life (Journey to the West Book 2) Kindle Edition

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Length: 444 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Matchbook Price: $0.99 What's this?
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Editorial Reviews


If you enjoy the first book you will be in for a treat with the second book (Trials of life). The second novel is brilliant on its own but is best appreciated after reading the first one (just like the Hobbit and Lord of the rings). Trials of life is beautifully written, I absolutely love the writing style (won't spoil you on how it is written). At times my eyes well up at such intense emotions seeping through the page, I was gripped from the first page and cannot put the kindle down all weekend. Once again Junying has proved that one does not have to have a printed book to be considered a good writer, a very good one indeed. I can't wait for the next novel to come out.
 - UK reader A.Tran

About the Author

Junying Kirk was born a spice girl, hailing from Sichuan Province in southwestern China. In the summer of 1988, a British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching at Warwick University, followed by further post-graduate degrees at Glasgow and Leeds. In her career spanning from the East to the West, she has played various roles, as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher and cultural consultant. Currently working as a professional interpreter and translator, she reads vivaciously and writes with passion and dedication. She enjoys drawing from the wealth of life itself to create stories, which are both engaging and exciting. She travels widely and keeps her mind and heart open for the new, the good, the bad and the ugly. Her ‘Journey to the West’ trilogy, “The Same Moon”, “Trials of Life” and “Land of Hope” have been published in electronic form in 2011 and 2012. All her three books are now available in paperbacks. She lives in Birmingham, UK with her English husband.

Product Details

  • File Size: 950 KB
  • Print Length: 444 pages
  • Publication Date: August 7, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XW30RQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,438,330 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Junying Kirk was a spice girl from Sichuan, China. A British Council scholarship led her to study in the UK which has since adopted her. She has worked as an academic, administrator, researcher, professional interpreter and translator, and cultural consultant. Currently working as an International Partnerships Manager in a large British University, she loves reading and writing books. Her Journey to the West trilogy, 'The Same Moon', 'Trials of Life' and 'Land of Hope' have been published on Amazon Kindle, CreateSpace, iBook and Smashwords. She regularly blogs on books, world travels, food and many other interesting life experiences at She lives in Birmingham UK with her English husband.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Sozaeva VINE VOICE on August 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
"Trials of Life" is the second book in the Journey to the West trilogy by author Junyung Kirk. Like the first book - The Same Moon - this is not the type of book I would normally read, but Ms. Kirk asked me if I would be so kind as to read and provide reviews for her books and I was happy to do so.

"Trials of Life" was a much more difficult book than the first book in the series. While "The Same Moon" is focused on Pearl's point-of-view exclusively, this book changes point of view frequently and without notice, which made it a bit difficult to follow who was "talking" to the reader. (Note: At author's request I provided editing to this book and the copy you get will hopefully have had this done - we have added information to make it easier to tell who is "speaking" at any given time) Also, the bulk of the book has to do with a truly despicable person named Dick Appleton, and having to spend so much time in his head made me want to scrub my skin with pumice and then pour lye into my eyes - he was really awful. Of course, the mere fact that Ms. Kirk was able to provoke such an extreme reaction in me shows that she knows exactly how to create a character that is sure to stick in the mind of the reader. While there are some issues with grammar and proper sentence structure, overall the writing style is excellent and I was duly impressed. (Note: Hopefully I have helped Ms. Kirk fix this, too) The main reason I marked off to only 4 stars was due to the voice confusion. (Note: I hope my changes will allow you to give it 5 stars!)

Overall I've found myself increasingly intrigued by both China and Scotland as a result of these books and would love to travel to both countries and have a chance to experience their cultures myself. I can recommend this book for those who enjoy a story about rising above and overcoming adversity - if that is you, definitely check it out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By VConsidine on January 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Joker in the "Dark Knight". Dr Hannibal Lecter in "Red Dragon, The Judge from Blood Meridian. Ms. Kirk creation, description and actions of Dr. Richard Appleton will tremor your spine.

"Trials of Life" is the second book in the Journey to the West series. The series main character Pearl, married, content and living in the UK. Pearl's happiness is quickly erased when she finds out about the death of Dr. Richard Appleton and this revelation brings back painful memories of her difficult journey. This when the book makes an imprint and were Ms.Kirk injects the vile Dr. Appleton into the reader's conscious.

The book is well written and subjective

Ms. Kirk is a character creative monster and that is something you can't teach. Five stars

The reason why my overall rating is four stars - I wanted more from Pearl.

Enjoyed it very much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vered Ehsani on November 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
`Trials of Life' picks up sometime after `The Same Moon' ends. We find that Pearl has established herself in the UK, and is happily married. Then she reads a news article about the death of Dr Richard Appleton, and her thoughts are flung into turmoil. She begins to reflect on the difficulties she went through to get where she currently is; some of them are pretty intense and include Richard.

This novel is a bit different from `The Same Moon', which provides fascinating insights into China of the `70s and `80s, through the experiences of Pearl in China and then in the UK as a new immigrant. There is more a focus on the interactions between the various characters. The writing style is still personal and slightly unstructured, the way a diary is, one thought leading to another. I can definitely see an improvement in the editing as well as smoother transitions between scenes and sections, although there is still room for improvement.

The part of the book that I liked best was when Pearl was in the midst of her experiences with Richard. There was an intensity and breathlessness to the narrative that was engaging. Pearl's uncertainty about the truth of Richard's story and the fear it generated could have been drawn out more and should have been used to propel the plot forward. Instead, it was left there, an untapped source of potential. Once the point of view shifted to the other characters, I felt the book lost some of that momentum. I would suggest to the writer that she focus on that section with Pearl and see how she can capture that same energy in future stories.
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