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Only a Girl 0th Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1607493976
ISBN-10: 1607493977
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Larry Stueck (San Francisco Bay Area) Only a Girl is a masterpiece of storytelling. In rich and complex prose Lian Gouw develops her characters around a backdrop of multi cultures and the dramatic history of Dutch rule, Japanese occupation and Indonesian Revolution. Though Only a Girl may seem to have a wider appeal to women, Gouw's methodic use of universal values such as ambition, pride, security, fear and love draws all readers into the story irrespective of gender. Lian Gouw is a gifted writer who is able to capture her reader's attention not only throughout the book but even for some time after The End. --amazon.com

By K. L. Anderson (Northern California) This review is from: Only a Girl (Paperback) "Only a Girl" takes place in Indonesia where women's choices were limited by culture and family expectations. Against a backdrop of invasion and upheaval, Carolien tries to make a life for herself on her own terms. Great character development and fascinating historical details make this a great read. Highly recommended. --amazon.com

By Brigitte Carnochan "photographer" (California, USA) This review is from: Only a Girl (Paperback) The history and culture that Lian Gouw narrates so compellingly was almost unknown to me. I kept turning the pages eagerly, wanting to see how the intricate plot unfolded. I believed in the characters. I hope this author is at work on her next novel. --amazon.com

About the Author

Lian Gouw was born in Jakarta, Indonesia when Indonesia was still a Dutch colony known as the Netherlands East Indies. Her family, upper middleclass Chinese, raised her with a Dutch education and cultural values. Lian grew up during the tremulous years of World War II, followed by the post-war period and Indonesian Revolution. Put under the strain of the new Indonesian government, she immigrated to the USA in 1966. Lian s short stories and poems have appeared in Quietus Magazine, Writing for our Lives, Voices and Visions, The Highland s Low Down and Reflections. Her Predicament, an earlier version of the first chapter of her novel, Only A Girl, was included in the 2006 anthology of the SF Writers Conference, Building Bridges from Writers to Readers. In her writing, Lian explores themes of human relationships, connection with animals, and fable-like fantasy. She is particularly interested in the lives and struggles of women.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: PublishAmerica (April 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607493977
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607493976
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,357,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Larry Stueck on July 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Only a Girl is a masterpiece of storytelling.

In rich and complex prose Lian Gouw develops her characters around a backdrop of multi cultures and the dramatic history of Dutch rule, Japanese occupation and Indonesian Revolution.

Though Only a Girl may seem to have a wider appeal to women, Gouw's methodic use of universal values such as ambition, pride, security, fear and love draws all readers into the story irrespective of gender. Lian Gouw is a gifted writer who is able to capture her reader's attention not only throughout the book but even for some time after The End.
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Format: Paperback
"Only a Girl" takes place in Indonesia where women's choices were limited by culture and family expectations. Against a backdrop of invasion and upheaval, Carolien tries to make a life for herself on her own terms. Great character development and fascinating historical details make this a great read. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
The history and culture that Lian Gouw narrates so compellingly was almost unknown to me. I kept turning the pages eagerly, wanting to see how the intricate plot unfolded. I believed in the characters. I hope this author is at work on her next novel.
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Format: Paperback
Only a Girl is a great book - the characters are well rounded and interesting, the story kept me reading, and the setting is fascinating to me: both on a surface level as providing a good backdrop for the action, and on a historic level, providing insight into a place that I knew little about. The book is set in Indonesia during the era of WWII and consequently touches the Chinese, Dutch, and Indonesian cultures as they grapple with control and belonging in a shared piece of the world. It follows a family of mostly women as they are forced to react to the changes happening around them and as their choices cause internal change within their family. I would highly recommend this story - both as an enjoyable read and as one that may open your eyes a little bit wider.
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Format: Paperback
"Only A Girl" by Lian Gouw is such a wonderful and universally appealing novel that I cannot think of a better book that I have read this entire year. Gouw captures her readers from the moment the book starts and holds us captive until the final page. I would like to see another book which follows the life of Jenny and her family after this one ends and continue her life and travels outside of the newly founded country of Indonesia.
Lian Gouw is one of the brightest new stars of the literary world of the San Francisco Bay area. Let's see this book go national and international and thrill readers all over the globe!
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Format: Paperback
I finished reading "Only a Girl" last night and was so touched that I felt I needed to share my thoughts. Lian Gouw has written a tender tale giving her readers a taste of what went on in what is a mysterious part of the world to many of us. Through the eyes of a child we catch glimpses of life in a traditional family, the horror of war, and the hope that dwells in those who refuse to break. I put down the book wanting for more and I do hope another novel is in the works. I want to know what happens to Jenny.
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Format: Paperback
Jenny may have been "only a girl," but her story is extraordinary. Although she lived in a time and place that I knew very little about beforehand, I became completely absorbed by her journey, which was inseparable from that of her mother and grandmother. This novel has it all: beloved characters, crusty villains, political turmoil, war, revolution, family conflicts, love, heartbreak, and an historically accurate context that adds both momentum and drama from the first page to the last.
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Format: Paperback
Lian Gouw is an intelligent and compassionate writer. In Only a Girl, history and personal story intertwine in a family chronicle that is both unique and familiar. The novel begins with young love, and a willful woman's desire to be strong and independent. Lian Gouw's richly drawn characters reveal complex emotions, and raise questions about love and loyalty. This is a work of power, tenderness and hope and it will stay with me for a long time.
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