Three Souls by Janie ChangThree Souls by Janie Chang

Three Souls

byJanie Chang

Paperback | August 20, 2013

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Leiyin has to make a choice: Should she save her only child or forever relinquish her own afterlife?

Civil war China is fractured by social and political change. Behind the magnificent gates of the Song family estate, however, none of this upheaval has touched Leiyin, a spoiled and idealistic teenager. But when Leiyin meets the captivating left-wing poet Hanchin, she defies her father and learns a harsh reality: that her father has the power to dictate her fate. Leiyin’s punishment for disobedience leads to exile from her family, an unwanted marriage and ultimately a lover’s betrayal—followedby her untimely death. Now a ghost, Leiyin must make amends to earn entry to the afterlife. But when her young daughter faces a dangerous future, Leiyin has to make a heart-wrenching choice.

Born in Taiwan, JANIE CHANG spent parts of her childhood in the Philippines, Iran and Thailand before ultimately settling in Canada. She has a degree in computer science from Simon Fraser University. Recently, she attended The Writer’s Studio at SFU.Three Soulsis her first
Title:Three SoulsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 1 inPublished:August 20, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443423904

ISBN - 13:9781443423908

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best read When I read Three Souls I lived and breathed the book! I couldn't stop thinking about it. I couldn't put it down and couldn't sleep knowing it was beside my bed unfinished. Needless to say, I read through the night on a number of occasions, not able to let the story and characters go. Janie Chang is a gifted author. Her stories are riveting and her ability to weave them into factual events is artful. Not once, in either book, did I feel that she let up on the suspense and intrigue. Chang does a real service to her reading audience by providing them with the opportunity to experience, so profoundly, life in China during such transformational times.
Date published: 2017-11-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from a Nice Read Took me a while to get into it, but once I did it was an enjoyable read. A bit of history about the Chinese cultural revolution.
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed!! What a wonderfully written beginning, I loved it...was the book carried on I loved the concept, the characters and the peek into politics during this place and time in China. There was much learn and hold my interest.
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Three Souls is a wholly unique perspective on death, afterlife, and ghosts--to an extent. While this novel is narrated by the dead Leiyin and her three souls, it isn't cheesy or teen-romance novel, the way part of the description had me fearing it would be. It begins with Leiyin looking down at her own funeral from above, with her three yang, yin, and hun souls. We know she has just died at a rather young age and left behind a husband and daughter, but we also learn that she cannot ascend to the afterlife until she atones for a terrible wrong. Thus begins her journey, from the moment she 'stepped of her life path' to discover what happened and when, whom she wronged, and if it's enough to get her to the afterlife before it's too late, and she's forced to roam the earth forever as a starved and lonely ghost, without her souls for company. This is an epic tale of Leiyin's family, all of their stories expertly woven together. This isn't just about Leiyin, either: your heart breaks for all of them at some point, even those who may not necessarily deserve your pity. The imagery of 1935 China, both urban and rural, is well-invoked along with what life must have been like for the elite as the world changed, torn between Nationalist and Communist infighting. A lot of love and research was put into this novel. The only part that felt a tad tedious at times to me was part three, when Leiyin remembers (or witnesses through memory; that is how the story is told but it's excellent) how she died and must from there try to figure out how to atone for her sins, which are also revealed. It drags a little until she figures it out (only a little bit--not enough to discourage me from reading and it was still one heck of a page turner) and I could have done without some of the dream scenes as they often felt a little endless, but they're all still such a beautiful read. Mostly, by the end, I love how absolutely everything has connected to something, or someone else in this novel, and is wholly wrapped up. Very satisfying.
Date published: 2017-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from That twist though! I really loved this novel. At first I was annoyed at the main character who was very naiive and selfish, but she matures throughout the novel and her personal journey was so heart warming and relatable. Loved it :)
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating This book is set in 1935 China with flashbacks to the late 1920's. It recounts the life of Song Leiyin. We meet her watching her own funeral and where she first encounters her three souls as we take a journey to the day she finished high school and the choices she made that changed her life forever. She must uncover the mystery of her death make amends before moving onto the afterlife. This is an intriguing tale that keeps you wanting more till the last page. I liked that the story stresses the importance of education and family. It shows us how one choice can dramatically change every part of your life. Some parts felt uncomfortable for me to read; however; the beautifully crafted narrative is what prompted me to finish the book. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book Could not put it down. Actually wrote the author to tell her how much I enjoyed it. Set in 1800's China and the history and spiritualism were very interesting. The book is well written and laid out. Going to read it again, when I get it back from my friends who are loving it also.
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book. This book was excellent! Nice to read a book by a Canadian author, and have Janie actually discuss her book at our book club! Could not put it down, finished it in one night. I can hardly wait until her next book.
Date published: 2015-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Astonishing! I stayed up till four finishing this book. It's amazing--highly, highly recommended.
Date published: 2014-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful story Once it got going I was mesmerized.
Date published: 2014-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Three Souls I really enjoyed this novel. This is the author's first; I can't wait for the second.
Date published: 2014-06-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Three Souls by Janie Chang Fascinating way to tell an interesting story about a time and place unfamiliar to many Canadians.
Date published: 2014-06-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A real gem. I was happily surprised by this novel. I look forward to the author's next book.
Date published: 2014-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Three souls Good read, very original story line. Enjoyed the book so much hated to put it down.
Date published: 2014-05-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Janie Chang's novel, Three Souls This is the heart-felt tale of Leiyin, third daughter of the Song family, in a China on the cusp of revolution in 1935. In a unique twist, the story is told after Leiyin's death through conversations with her three souls. Leiyin strives to understand her life, make amends for her mistakes, and gain entry to the afterlife.  As the stakes rose, so did my engagement with this unusual, and unusually well-told, story.
Date published: 2014-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Page Turner! Janie's Chang's novel is a great read. I found it flowed so well that I had to keep flipping to the next page to find out how this lady's life unfolds. A read you won't regret!
Date published: 2013-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can’t stop thinking about this book It’s 1935 China and the story opens with the ghost of a young woman watching her own funeral. Leiyin can’t remember her past, but she knows she should be in the Afterlife, not still here on this earth. Despite such a beginning, this is not a ghost story, not yet. It’s a historical novel, narrated by a ghost as she watches her memories unfold up to the day of her death to learn how she died and what crime she committed. The three souls of the title belong to Leiyin, and they are her companions as she relives her memories, offering up comments that range from sympathetic to acerbic, which I found a very original way of presenting the past. Once Leiyin remembers her life, she must find a way to redeem herself or she will be trapped forever on this earth and end up as an insane hungry ghost. The novel is well-paced and well-written, with twists and surprises that all fit together by the end. The prose and descriptions immerse you totally in the world of the novel, when China was a mish-mash of East and West. Some women entered university and others entered arranged marriages. It was a turbulent and fascinating time in Chinese history, when nobody could predict what would happen socially and politically. The final part of the book unexpectedly broadens the themes of the story, and I found the ending both beautiful and satisfying. I kept thinking about story whenever I had to put it down to do other things. It’s been a long time since that happened with a book.
Date published: 2013-09-03

Editorial Reviews

"I found it so compelling, I absolutely couldn't put it down. . . .One of the most satisfying, enjoyable and interesting books I've read in a while." -NANCY RICHLER, AUTHOR OF THE IMPOSTER BRIDE, YOUR MOUTH IS LOVELY AND THROWAWAY ANGELS"It is a triumph. There is so much magic here, such generous imagining. The prose sings while the story is told in surging crescendo that makes us race to know what happens." -BEVERLY SWERLING, AUTHOR OF CITY OF DREAMS, SHADOWBROOK, CITY OF GLORY, CITY OF GOD, CITY OF PROMISE AND BRISTOL HOUSE"Three Souls is a glorious, deeply readable novel-the kind you pick up and read voraciously, every chance you get. The kind you get lost in." -SHAENA LAMBERT, AUTHOR OF RADIANCE AND THE FALLING WOMAN