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A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


At the height of China’s Cultural Revolution a powerful general fathered two sons. Tan was born to the general’s wife and into a life of comfort and luxury. His half brother, Shento, was born to the general’s mistress, who threw herself off a cliff in the mountains of Balan only moments after delivering her child. Growing up, each remained ignorant of the other’s existence. In Beijing, Tan enjoyed the best schools, the finest clothes, and the prettiest girls. Shento was raised on the mountainside by an old healer and his wife until their deaths landed him in an orphanage, where he was always hungry, alone, and frightened. Though on divergent roads, each brother is driven by a passionate desire—one to glorify his father, the other to seek revenge against him.

Separated by distance and opportunity, Tan and Shento follow the paths that lie before them, while unknowingly falling in love with the same woman and moving toward the explosive moment when their fates finally merge.

Brothers, by bestselling memoirist Da Chen, is a sprawling, dynamic family saga, complete with assassinations, love affairs, narrowly missed opportunities, and the ineluctable fulfillment of destiny.

From Publishers Weekly

May 29, 2006 – Acclaimed memoirist Chen (Colors of the Mountain) draws on his experiences growing up during the Cultural Revolution for this arresting novel about two brothers negotiating the momentous changes that have buffeted China in recent decades. The protagonists are half-brothers: Tan, the privileged, legitimate heir of Gen. Ding Long, and Shento, the general's abandoned bastard child. While Tan is "groomed to be a leader," Shento is placed in a hellish orphanage where he plots revenge. Shento eventually escapes, joins the army and rises to the head of the president's security detail. Meanwhile, caught on the wrong side of the changes sweeping China following Chairman Mao's death, Tan's family is discredited and flees to their ancestral home in the south where Tan builds an economic empire. Tan also falls in love with the beautiful orphan, Sumi Wo, who has an illegitimate son by Shento. When Sumi and Tan become involved in the pro-democracy movement, they attract official attention, putting the estranged brothers on paths that will converge at Tiananmen Square. Chen's inventive and sprawling family saga eloquently recreates a time of enormous upheaval.
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  • $4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Sep 19, 2006
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 448 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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