Praise and Reviews

“Dina’s debut novel Unbound is a gripping and heart-warming family saga with love and betrayal, and of rebellion and restraint in a time of war and peace. The journey of two strong women to break their visible and invisible bonds, and to search for freedom resonates today…”
–Geling Yan, Author of The Flower of War

“Brumfield’s novel is, at its essence, a well-paced historical novel that kept me turning pages. I know very little of Asian history—even the more recent chapters of the 20th century when this book is set—but I learned a lot from the dramatic scenes that featured characters who are often thrown into the midst of political turmoil. Particularly interesting to me were the moments that dramatized the changes generated in Chinese society by the death of Chairman Mao. Vivid drama also surrounds the era from the Japanese invasion of the country to their routing by the American/British forces. Seeing history through the eyes of people on the “other” side of the world, from the Western side that I am most familiar with, provided rich realism for this reader. And, of course, much of the suspense lay in wondering how, and if, Ting and her grandmother could survive the violence and heartbreak in their lives, to find safety and happiness…at last.

I would recommend this novel to readers interested in learning more about Eastern cultures and history. The author not only instructs, she entertains. And we leave the book in sympathy with her appealing characters.”
–Kathryn Johnson, author/teacher

“In the tradition of Wild Swans and The Woman Warrior, Unbound follows the perilous journeys of three generations of Shanghai women navigating politics, Chinese tradition, and love. You will find much to learn from this amazing novel as well as much to identify with.”
–Barbara Esstman
The Other Anna and Night Ride Home

“From the very first page – an ominous knock at the door — to the very last, Unbound binds us to an incredible story of heartbreak and passion, of dreams and desperation, of despair and unconditional hope. Through the eyes of Mini Pao and her granddaughter Ting Lee, Dina Gu Brumfield weaves a masterful tale that not only starkly captures both the promise and oppression of 20th Century China, but more importantly, brings to life the people who struggled to survive behind the facade. A master of craft, Brumfield never hesitates to lure the reader in close, so that we breathe the sweat and feel the pain; because only then will true understanding emerge about the human need for freedom and the power of will. This book is not so much a novel as it is an event – one that singularly proves the adage that history told through story will never be forgotten. This is one debut not to be missed!”
–James Mathews, author of Last Known Position

 

Praise and Reviews

“Dina’s debut novel Unbound is a gripping and heart-warming family saga with love and betrayal, and of rebellion and restraint in a time of war and peace. The journey of two strong women to break their visible and invisible bonds, and to search for freedom resonates today…”
–Geling Yan, Author of The Flower of War

“Brumfield’s novel is, at its essence, a well-paced historical novel that kept me turning pages. I know very little of Asian history—even the more recent chapters of the 20th century when this book is set—but I learned a lot from the dramatic scenes that featured characters who are often thrown into the midst of political turmoil. Particularly interesting to me were the moments that dramatized the changes generated in Chinese society by the death of Chairman Mao. Vivid drama also surrounds the era from the Japanese invasion of the country to their routing by the American/British forces. Seeing history through the eyes of people on the “other” side of the world, from the Western side that I am most familiar with, provided rich realism for this reader. And, of course, much of the suspense lay in wondering how, and if, Ting and her grandmother could survive the violence and heartbreak in their lives, to find safety and happiness…at last.

I would recommend this novel to readers interested in learning more about Eastern cultures and history. The author not only instructs, she entertains. And we leave the book in sympathy with her appealing characters.”
–Kathryn Johnson, author/teacher

“In the tradition of Wild Swans and The Woman Warrior, Unbound follows the perilous journeys of three generations of Shanghai women navigating politics, Chinese tradition, and love. You will find much to learn from this amazing novel as well as much to identify with.”
–Barbara Esstman
The Other Anna and Night Ride Home

“From the very first page – an ominous knock at the door — to the very last, Unbound binds us to an incredible story of heartbreak and passion, of dreams and desperation, of despair and unconditional hope. Through the eyes of Mini Pao and her granddaughter Ting Lee, Dina Gu Brumfield weaves a masterful tale that not only starkly captures both the promise and oppression of 20th Century China, but more importantly, brings to life the people who struggled to survive behind the facade. A master of craft, Brumfield never hesitates to lure the reader in close, so that we breathe the sweat and feel the pain; because only then will true understanding emerge about the human need for freedom and the power of will. This book is not so much a novel as it is an event – one that singularly proves the adage that history told through story will never be forgotten. This is one debut not to be missed!”
–James Mathews, author of Last Known Position