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Trials of Life (Journey to the West) [Kindle Edition]

Junying Kirk , John Kirk , Yongqun Guo
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $3.49
You Save: $9.50 (73%)

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Book Description

This novel is sequel to The Same Moon, and we follow Pearl in her journey and pursuit in personal and professional fulfilment. The story is told in different voices, painting a full picture of Pearl's new life in the UK, Will she find love or will she be confronted with more trials and tribulations?

Pearl meets Andrew Church, the man of her dreams and then gets a job at a UK university. Perfect or is it not so? Her senior colleague Dick Appleton does not welcome her, and when he discovers that Pearl has a secret mission, he grabs the opportunity. Having had a privileged upbringing, gone to the world-famous institution Oxford, and enjoying a wonderful lifestyle, Dick would not allow anyone, let alone Pearl, to stand in his way.
 
While Dick fights to protect his reputation and standing, Pearl seeks justice. How can she battle against the powerful machine behind the big men? Would reality teach Pearl a lesson that there is no perfect justice in this world? Or does the ancient Chinese belief hold true that everything happens for a reason? Is it fate or simply the trials of life?

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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: 581 KB
  • Print Length: 359 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XW30RQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,224,619 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2nd book in Journey to the West series - great series! 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pick your battles August 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Pearl just started a job at a University in England. Her supervisor over her has harassed her in various ways while on trips to China and at home in England. She prosecutes a case against him and the ensuing trial is here for all to see. This story goes into the background of her supervisor Dick Appleton, (who is the harasser) and his life. It also goes into some of the background of some of the other characters. Pearl is a woman who has grown up with various trials in her life, but she has a backbone of steel and the courage to walk through something that is so heart wrenching and so stressful, to do what is right. They say "pick your battles". Some you have to fight no matter what, for justice and your own integrity. In the end, there is always ultimate justice! This story had me right in the middle with Pearl all the way. I am a great admirer of Junying Kirk and will be following her from here on. I highly recommend her books-Same Moon, Trials of Life, and Land of Hope. I received this as an ebook free from the author for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Characters bring this story to life July 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Trials of Life is the sequel to The Same Moon, which I truly enjoyed, and I'd highly recommend be read prior to this one, as it follows the main character - Pearl, in her quest to the West.

The style of writing is different in this one with shifting POVs. This goes against most of the conventional rules I've learned about writing, yet, once I settled into the story, this was not an issue as the plot drew me in.

We learn of Pearl's education in the West ---not all of it is good, and this story centers around a particularly bad part of it. The underlying theme, however, still touches on the immigrant experience for many who move to a new country in search of "a better life." Pearl learns that although some things are better, the road is not all welcoming.

This is a well-told story of Pearl's trials in a new world, and how along the way, she anchors herself to her new home with what is really important.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life after China 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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More About the Author

Junying Kirk was born and grew up in China. A British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching at Warwick University in 1988, followed by further postgraduate degrees at Glasgow and Leeds. She has worked as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher and cultural consultant. Currently working as a professional interpreter and translator, 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, and Smashwords. She regularly blogs on books world travels, food and photography, in fact, anything interesting and worth sharing at http://www.junyingkirk.com. She lives in Birmingham UK with her English husband.


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