F&F - Facts & Fiction
I enjoyed this and I'm glad I read it and would recommend it.'
Throughout runs the Taoist Philosophy - the Eight Signs of the Golden Flower, the meaning of Tao, the place of women in Oriental society. Hung Tu emerges as a vibrant figure, radiating a sense of beauty, balance, and well-being.
The New Yorker
The stylized sensuality of the world that Miss Eaton writes about is so clearly defined by the cool simplicity of her language that as we read this tale of ninth-century China we see that it all happened just as she tells it, and her characters are as real to us as though we read about them in the newspapers every day.
A many-splendored trip through a rainbow world.
Emotionally restrained in the manner of the Chinese society of Hung Tu's time, Go Ask the River tells a meticulously imagined story of Hung Tu's life from childhood to old age. Drawing on subtle hints from her poetry and combining these with a richly textured understanding of eighth-century Chinese life, it creates a moving, though never openly passionate, story about a woman required to discipline her emotions in order to serve powerful men with grace and dignity... hung Tu's Poetry, using garden and nature metaphors to suggest feelings that cannot be openly expressed, is a quiet triumph.
There are many good novels about the trials and courage of Chinese women in various historical periods, but Eaton's book is outstanding, in that as well as a tense and dramatic narrative, it also provides a most insightful but easily readable insight into classical Chinese poetry, and a thoughtful approach to life's hardships through a Taoist philosophy. Not to be missed!