The Distant Land of My Father

The Distant Land of My Father

by Bo Caldwell, Chronicle Books


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The Distant Land of My Father (Harvest Book Series) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 105 reviews.
kiriandketa More than 1 year ago
This is an absolutely wonderful first novel by Bo Caldwell. I'm always excited to discover a new author, but even more thrilled to find one who writes so well. I savored every word. She makes Shanghai come alive with sights and sounds, and the characters are so well developed. The ending was sad but given all of the events in the story, it had to be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was assigned this book as a summer reading book for school, so I thought it was just going to be another boring & dull book. Luckily, I was wrong. This book was actually very interesting and I found myself not wanting to put it down. I really enjoyed reading it and you felt like you were connected with the characters like you actually knew them. Bo Caldwell did a great job writing this novel and I'm glad I was assigned this book for the summer. I've already reccommended this book to people I know! Definitely a great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really great book. True story told by the daughter who immigrated to the US with her mother but not her father. Good history info about 2 wars that happened in ShangHai.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Engrossing, lush and exotic!! Hard to believe that this is not a memoir. It is written in such a personal narrative voice. The descriptions of Shanghai are so vivid I can feel the sultry humid air and the freezing cold. The interpersonal relationships are complex and well defined. Just a marvelous book, best book I've read since Suite Francaise!! This would make a great movie!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
No matter what happens, a loving family will stay together and survive one way or another, especially when the going is really tough.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a love story, the love between a father and daughter, a man and a woman and a man and a city. Bo Caldwell shows the delicate layering of each relationship and how they interact over a period of some 25 years. But that is too dry a description for a book that will leave you searching for a hankie. Anna Schoene's reaction to her father's refusal to put his wife and child before his love for the city of Shanghai is told so beautifully and so truthfully that the book reads far more like autobiography than fiction. The emotions are that well presented. It's the kind of book that will resonate for days after you've turned the last page.
-----Sharon More than 1 year ago
Have lots of tissue ready for the tears.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book. I couldn't put it down and as soon as I finished it, I passed it to a friend!
NJ-Nina More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I am a nonstop reader and love a good nonfiction interspersed with my fiction. This book gives insight into what Japan did during World Word II in China and to how foreigners were treated. This well written book is a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book,visiting Shanghai in the past,the love for each other of the characters.... and to be able to forgive. I hope Ms Calwell gives us a new book me she is part of the group of Buck,Elegant,Lin Yutang and others...
Guest More than 1 year ago
A well developed, touching story of a young girl whose millionaire father loses his family and fortune through lack of vision and a series of wrong judgments. The author shows clearly how the adoration of a child for her father gradually turns into disappointment as his decisions degrade her family life. The daughter eventually overcomes her resentment against her father through reading his diary and unterstanding his motives.
Anonymous 9 months ago
readingfiend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I was done with this book I just sat holding it because it was so moving and so intense through the whole book. I don't think there was a page I hurried through. It was so rich in its story and detail. Briefly, Anna an only child living with her parents in Shanghai in the 30s. Her father had lived there with his missionary parents and after meeting his wife in college, they got married and moved back to Shanghai where he was a "businessman". He mostly bought things people needed for a low price and sold it to them for a high price. Things start to turn ugly with the Japanese and Anna's mother books passage for Anna and herself hoping it will force her husband to follow. This book was written in the first person and you would swear it is a memoir. I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read. A wonderful story teller with a superb writing style.
lorax on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the sort of character-driven book that's very difficult for me to review. The Distant Land of my Father is the story of Anna Schoene and her father Joseph, a Chinese-born American citizen, in the mid-20th century. It is the story of Anna's relationship with her father; since it's a character-driven book, it won't surprise anyone to learn that the arc of the relationship is from a young girl idolizing her father, through disillusionment and rejection, to forgiveness. There is, essentially, no plot; major events of the twentieth century affect the characters, but they don't really do much, and the tone is somewhat removed. The writing is evocative of both Shanghai and Los Angeles; the LA parts ring very true, referencing specific places that still exist , which gives me confidence that the Shanghai part may be similarly well-researched.
BAP1012 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautiful novel. The details of place and depth of character in this book made it a very fulfilling read. The pictures in my mind were clear and full from the prose Ms. Caldwell created.
brsquilt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fiction that reads like fact. Relationship between daughter and her father - realistic and satisfying. War parts and prison parts hard to read. The ending was good and I was happy I read the book. Well written.
tina1969 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Have read this book before and have read it again for this months book group. Didn't get anything more out of this book a second time around. Did find the war and prison parts in the book very hard going. Felt the dad was very selfish at times and I got annoyed with the character.
dwrf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elegant story about the meaning of place, memory, and home. The memoir style lends the story a striking realism and Caldwell's clean prose brings pre-war Shanghai vibrantly to life. The story begins in Shanghai and is that of an expatriate American couple and their young daughter. The approaching war forces the mother and child to leave for Los Angeles, but the father, certain his connections will protect him, remains behind in his beloved Shanghai. Many years later, Anna finds her father's journals and at last learns about the man believed abandoned and betrayed his family. Moving story of loss and reconciliation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will take you to places of exotic beauty and horrifying realities of being in an occupied foreign city. It has a realistic serving of human emotions and survival. The author weaves the story of a most dynamic man and the wife and daughter who love him. I loved these strong women.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Felt very invested in main charater. Interesting to read about china before,during and after ww2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ann_Louise More than 1 year ago
This is a sad book - but with elements of family love and overcoming wrongs without forgetting the past. It will remind you of your own family relationships. Can't recommend it highly enough.