Free eBook The Bitter Tea of General Yen Author Grace Zaring Stone – Wildlives.co
The book and the movie came out in the early 1930s The movie is an inter racial love story The book follows the same basic plot, but is purely an exploration of East and West and how two specific characters in civil war era China view the world A little dated, but considering it is nearly 90 years old not horribly so. I can remember seeing the movie as a young girl and being caught up in the romanticism of the movie and the relationship between General Yen and the young Megan Davis I was very happy to see it made available for kindle and hence have the chance to read the book.Let me start off by saying that this story is not a romance as I am used to reading This isof a story about magnetism and fascination Megan Davis is a young American woman who journeys to China in the 1920 s to marry her missionary fiance Megan is firm in her beliefs and the unshakeable rightness of them She is rescued by General Yen, an enigmatic Chinese warlord when she is set upon at a railway station during a time of upheaval.Even though this is not a typical romance pre se, there is an attraction repulsion between Megan and the ambiguous General When they meet two worlds collide Megan pits her western beliefs against the fascination of a thousand years of Chinese culture and tradition Megan is drawn to Yen but at the same time she is repulsed by the man and what he stands for.The book is well written, even though Megan is the primary character it is Yen who steps off the page There is some beautiful and thought provoking prose in the novel It is rich and detailed, evocative in it s language.There is also included an illuminating foreward to the story Very glad to have had a chance to read the original story For me it was a 5 star read because it was different to my usual fare.This review is for the kindle version offered on . Good material, not always well used The principals are, of course General Yen, and Megan Davis, the spoilt daughter of a New England college president, who s come out to China on the pretext of getting married to her childhood sweetheart, but in reality to spread her wings and have a bit of fun Upon arrival, she is not met by her fianc but by a couple of missionaries, Mr and Mrs Jackson China being on the brink of civil war, Mr Jackson is set on evacuating the local orphanage However, the lady in charge, Miss Reed, refuses to budge, either because she wants to impress everybody with her bravery, or because she aspires to martyrdom With the crisis escalating, Megan gets her chance for some adventure when the respected scholar Doctor Strike decides it is time to force Miss Reed s hand Megan shows her mettle during the evacuation of the remaining children, but at the last minute she is set upon by a mob and saved in the nick of time by General Yen, a former student of Doctor Strike Up to this point the book moves at a brisk pace and is quite suspenseful Megan is an interesting character, primp, proper and plucky, but full of yearnings of which she is only dimly aware The second half of the novel takes place in the compound where General Yen is awaiting the results of the latest deals and negotiations he s been making Since the political situation is too volatile for Megan to travel back to Shanghai safely, she has no choice but to accept the General s hospitality In the space of a few days, they have a number of intense conversations that I found frankly baffling if not impenetrable Megan seems to be fascinated by this exotic warlord, and to want to influence his behavior and even his view of the world When Yen receives a tip that his concubine Mah li has betrayed him and, sensibly enough, sends her packing, Megan sets her sights on making him change his mind and forgive Mah li Although she rationalizes her support for Mah li in all sorts of ingenious ways, it is quite clear to the reader that what Megan wants is for the charismatic general to yield to her Unsurprisingly, he does not, but that makes no difference because his troops have betrayed him too, and he is killed while trying to flee his enemies This is good historical fiction, with plenty of action and interesting characters, but in my view Zaring Stone could have donewith the colorful background she chose for her story Also, her syntax is rather odd, which may account for my irritation with the dialogue between Yen and Megan in the second half of the book It seems to me that Stone pits people like the Jacksons, for whom all Chinese are alien and inferior, against Megan and Doctor Strike, who romanticize Yen but can t help wanting to remake him in their own image Against all evidence to the contrary, they see him as having been only one step away from accepting Christ and therefore being saved, whereas in fact Yen has rejected Strike and all he stands for because, as he says, he would betray me to please his God anytime. Detailed review forthcoming. The Groundbreaking Novel Behind Frank Capra S Melodrama Starring Barbara Stanwyck And Nils Asther Traveling To Shanghai To Marry Her Medical Missionary Fianc , The Beautiful Megan Davis Finds Herself Caught In The Toils Of Civil War Between Republican And Communist Forces Determined To Save The Inhabitants Of An Orphanage In A Communist Occupied City Nearby, Megan Joins A Nighttime Rescue Mission That Ends Up Under Attack By A Mob She Avoids Death Only Thanks To The Intervention Of General Yen, Who Brings Her To His Palace, Where They Come To Form An Unlikely Trust And Companionship In One Another As The Political Climate Sours And Violence Outside The Palace Walls Escalates, The Motives Behind Various Associates Of The General Are Called Into Suspicion, Leading To An Unexpected And Irreparable Betrayal Originally Published In , This Absorbing Novel Of War Torn China Was Adapted Into Film InWith A New Foreword By Victoria WilsonVintage Movie Classics Spotlights Classic Films That Have Stood The Test Of Time, Now Rediscovered Through The Publication Of The Novels On Which They Were Based This novel became part of film history The movie version was the first film shown at Radio City Music Hall It starred Barbara Stanwyck and Nils Asther, directed by Frank Capra totally different from his Capra corn classics The story is intriguing revolutionary China during the twenties as seen through the eyes of a young American woman, who is there to marry her fianc e The writing ranges from harsh to ethereal, and the action draws you in I was somewhat disappointed with the ending, but it s still a good read, and the Foreword by Stanwyck s biographer Victoria Wilson is very interesting as well Sidenote Grace Zaring Stone later wrote several thrillers under the pseudonym Ethel Vance If Ethel Mertz married Vivian Vance, she d be . Here was a little gem of a book, written in a smart, compact language The history of the 20th century China was reflected through the short interaction between the last Chinese warlord and the na ve young European woman The whole future of this nation was changing through the turmoil of war, while a thousand year history of this country was always a reminder why the Western world struggles to understand it The book that was written long time ago manages to feel as a modern contemporary fiction.