Select one of the keywords
Colors of the Mountain    by Da Chen order for
Colors of the Mountain
by Da Chen
Order:  USA  Can
Anchor, 2001 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Colors of the Mountain is the story of Da Chen, who lived in China as a young boy during the time of Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution, which brought about devastating changes to the people of mainland China. The author's family immediately fell into disfavor as members of the landlord class. His father and grandfather were often beaten and thrown into labor camps. The whole family was reviled, frequently stoned and spit upon, and forced into backbreaking farming, using methods that were primitive at best.

Da Chen's account of his early years reveals him as the puckish youngest child in his family. He kept company with a small gang of louts who became a second family to him. His attempts to obtain schooling were blocked at every turn. The determination he displayed to become educated is mind boggling. The ordeals the whole family suffered would have defeated lesser people. The devotion of the family unit impressed me, especially the closeness and understanding of each to the other. A victory for one became a victory for all.

Rural family life at that time is vividly described - their simple meals of rice and the thrill of occasionally having meat in their bowls; traveling for miles with two on an ancient bicycle; their hidden religion, forbidden by Mao. Da Chen's salvation came to him from a Chinese Baptist woman who sensed his intelligence and desire for a better life for himself, and by extension for his family.

This is a good book. I've thought of Da Chen often since finishing Colors of the Mountain. I admire his tenacity and the strength he displayed in fighting for what he wanted. Glimpsing this work in your bookcase would give that extra push needed to accomplish what you've set out to do. If he can jump the hurdle that he did, so can you jump your hurdle.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews