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The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds cover art

The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds

By: Selina Siak Chin Yoke
Narrated by: Christine Rendel
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Summary

Facing challenges in an increasingly colonial world, Chye Hoon, a rebellious young girl, must learn to embrace her mixed Malayan-Chinese identity as a Nyonya - and her destiny as a cook, rather than following her first dream of attending school like her brother.

Amidst the smells of chillies and garlic frying, Chye Hoon begins to appreciate the richness of her traditions, eventually marrying Wong Peng Choon, a Chinese man. Together, they have ten children. At last, she can pass on the stories she has heard - magical tales of men from the sea - and her warrior's courage, along with her wonderful kueh (cakes).

But the cultural shift towards the West has begun. Chye Hoon finds herself afraid of losing the heritage she so prizes as her children move more and more into the modernising Western world.

©2016 Selina Siak Chin Yoke. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A story full of LOVE

I felt as if I gain a new world in this pages. It was magical.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Memories

At first I thought I wouldn't be able to get into the story because it was read by an English narrator. That soon changed as the narrator brought in the local way of speaking. I was enthralled.
I am an English lady in her seventies . My late husband was Hokkien Chinese originally born in Malaya. Later, the whole family moved to Singapore. We lived in Singapore with family in the sixties and seventies.
It was an absolute delight to read this story and brought back many wonderful memories of my time there. Of course I was familiar with the style of language and the mixture of the Chinese and Malay cultures. This fascinating book and the brilliant narration by Christine Rendel really brought back wonderful memories of our time there.
I can't wait to read another book by Selina Siak Chin Yoke.

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Back to the past .

Beautifully written book . Takes you back to past time ,s . Great narration by Christine Rendel .

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Profile Image for gostephi
  • gostephi
  • 16-04-17

mercy! wtf is going on???

What would have made The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds better?

uh get another narrator?

What was most disappointing about Selina Siak Chin Yoke’s story?

disappointing? how bout this: i don't even recognize the name(s)! i must've heard them, but...the way SOMEbody's asian pronounciations were so off the mark, it ruined the ambiance.

What didn’t you like about Christine Rendel’s performance?

buzzkill. i'm sure she would read Downton Abbey really fine

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds?

are you kidding me?? pshh no way. thank goodness #audible is so understanding. i'm not famous or anything, but i'm old. no time to waste..you get my drift?

Any additional comments?

again, i'm just an old woman, but i enjoy submerging myself in a great audiobook. i do not however appreciate being read to like a school child. am i wrong to yearn for the sound of an (authentic) asian-accented narrator?

9 people found this helpful

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  • J. Reimer
  • 12-07-17

Wonderfully told; perfectly narrated!

Performance is perfect. Narrator does unique voices for all characters. Even main characters voice changes over length of narrative as they "get older." If you have interest or experience in Malaysia and Chinese culture in that part of the world you will live this story!

The only reason story is not rated 5 is because it lacks clear singular crisis. Of course this is more realistic as it covers the life of a Chinese matriarch. Wonderfully told; perfectly narrated.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Fran Sadoff-lebow
  • Fran Sadoff-lebow
  • 15-05-17

Totally diappointing!!

What would have made The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds better?

If it was 2/3 shorter than it was. And the tedium was arduous and painful. The names of all the characters were hard to keep track of. I had to force myself to finish it even though I liked the concept and was looking forward to learning about the culture.I guess what would have made it better was to not have read it~

Would you recommend The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds to your friends? Why or why not?

No....boring, arduous....repetitive and nothing of great interest. Nothing memorable or noteworthy.

What character would you cut from The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds?

I can't even recall their names!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-01-21

Enjoyable story and good narrator

Usually not a fan of British accented narration, this was necessary to convey the tone of the time

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 25-09-17

Taming the Tiger Spirit Within

Hair combing ceremony very touching. This is a story set in a foreign land, and, in past eras. Told from main characters point of view which evoked empathy in me as I listened to a venerated elder share her life. Relationships can sometimes be difficult in any culture, and they also give life meaning when traditions are shared from old to young and then again from young to old. I became enamored with the intricacies of Malayan courtesies and customs and with the struggles in this woman's life . I valued the explanations regarding language at the end of the audible version. I mourned her passing with her family but it was a gentle conclusion which made it easier. I will listen to this many times....

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for barbara mcfadyen
  • barbara mcfadyen
  • 29-03-17

Disappointing

This book was very dull. It was a very flat storyline, just point a to b to c. No interesting turns, writing style was too simplistic. I do not recommend, had to force myself through it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Pato
  • 21-02-17

Excelent story.

I wish you had more of her books. The story is engaging and the narrator is outstanding. I highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alisa Stieg
  • 17-06-22

Excellent window to culture

I read another review complaining about narration but I could not disagree more. I highly enjoyed all aspects of this narration and the story. Highly recommend!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • NVR
  • 26-02-22

Couldn't really get into it

I wanted to like this book so much, but I couldn't really follow. It didn't captivate me like I was hoping it would. I might try again in the future, but it's doubtful.

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  • julian ng
  • 01-01-21

jumps out

it's about the struggle of the mother but also of the children. everyone has a magic sword!