- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Under Fishbone Clouds Hardcover – December 7, 2010
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Under Fishbone Clouds is written by debut author Sam Meekings, who grew up near the south coast of England and currently resides in China. It is absolutely remarkable that the author is under 30; the book is full of gravitas and maturity that is normally the result of decades of living and writing. Interwoven seamlessly within this mesmerizing narrative is Chinese folklore and myths - absorbingly told - in addition to insights into Chinese distant and recent past history.
This novel is narrated by the Kitchen God, a common household deity who is challenged by the more powerful Jade Emperor to fathom the inner workings of the human heart. He chooses to follow a couple who, like him and his own mythical wife, were caught in the whirlwind of history: Jinyi and his wife Yuying. The tale begins in 1942 when the two fall in love, in spite of their different backgrounds and their arranged marriage, and continues to their doddering old age as the new millennium takes hold.
At the onset, Yuying follows her husband across war-torn China to her husband's rustic and impoverished home. Bad times ensue, and when they eventually make their way back to the city, the Cultural Revolution has begun; everything now belongs to the state and all social strata are forced to undergo hard labor in the factories and the fields.Read more ›
The book follows the story of the enduring love of Jinyi and Yuying. It is an unusual marriage between a rural, dirt-poor, uneducated, orphaned boy, and an urban, wealthy, educated girl. As they mature, their love develops an iron-clad tenacity forged by the turbulence of history.
Had I been more familiar with recent Chinese history, the book would have been easier for me to read and would have left a better impression. Indeed, I thought I had sufficient knowledge of this country and period, but my level of knowledge was not enough for this book. Many times, I needed to stop reading the text and consult a background historical text to more fully understand the context of what was taking place.
In my estimation, China is the third, and perhaps single most important, main character in this book. It is the complexity, color, diversity, ruthlessness, and vibrancy of China that remains in the mind long after the book is finished. Yes, the love story of Jinyi and Yuying pulls the reader along eagerly awaiting the next page. Also, the charming interspersed tales of Chinese folklore give the book its delightful tone of whimsy--a whimsy that contrasts sharply with the harsh reality of life in China during those impossibly difficult years. Enduring love is a strong theme, but it is China itself that muscles to the front and dominates the purpose and tone of this fine novel.Read more ›
This is a quiet, gentle gem of a book taking on a cataclysmic time in history. At the beginning, some of the old class system still holds; Yuying is the daughter of a well-to-do family, owners of several restaurants and a large estate with separate wings and several servants. Bian Shi, Yuying's mother, is the last vestige of old-fashioned Chinese femininity; her feet were bound at a young age, but she doesn't allow their crippled condition to hold her back, and she doesn't have her daughters go through the agony of foot-binding either. When Bian Shi's husband is elsewhere, she assumes command at his restaurants and brooks no foolishment. Initially against the arranged marriage her husband sets up for Yuying with a kitchen worker in one of the restaurants - he can see how the world is going, and knows he can't provide adequately for his daughter's wedding, or for a better match - Bian Shi finally accepts her daughter's new husband, seeing how happy they are together.
The story follows Jinyi and Yuying through separations and trials due to the changes rife in China during the Maoist regime. Through it all runs a strong thread of Jinyi's and Yuying's love for each other, never faltering, and the struggles they endure as a couple together and apart.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A totally captivating, and incredibly different (and difficult) tale. The historical context is provided in a totally natural manner, and provides information and insight that are... Read morePublished 20 months ago by bigboppar
This story starts out slow, but stay with it! I promise it will be worth it in the end. You will say, I am so glad I stuck with it. Lots of interesting details in here. Read morePublished on April 10, 2013 by Tonya Speelman
"Under Fishbone Clouds" is a love story that starts when the couple is in their old age and flashes back to their meeting, falling in love and years of marriage. Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by Katawampas
Sam Meekings has given us a man and woman, Yuying and Jinyi, in the historical love story, Under Fishbone Clouds, a novel which takes the reader through their long suffering but... Read morePublished on September 24, 2012 by JO
UNDER FISHBONE CLOUDS
Sam Meekings has written an unique first novel for himself. We meet a young Chinese couple married through arrangement. Read more
This is a love story about love. This is set in China during World War 2 and is about the love between Yuying and her husband, Jinyi. Read morePublished on July 20, 2011 by K. Cade
Set in China just prior to and during the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath, this love story follows a young couple, Yuying and Jinyi, from their courtship to old age and the... Read morePublished on May 17, 2011 by Yours Truly
I wanted to like this book a lot -- and I started out reading it and it was pleasurable. Somewhere around the third or fourth chapter I started losing interest had to make myself... Read morePublished on April 19, 2011 by Hope T.
Although the action takes place in one of the most cruel historical periods of China, the writing has a gentle, dream-like, lyrical quality that stayed with me long after I... Read morePublished on April 17, 2011 by Nadia S. Edwards