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Letters in the Jade Dragon Box

It's 1976, Chen Wen-shan is 15 years old. She lives in Hong Kong with her great uncle. She lived on mainland China with her mother and grandfather until she was 5, but she doesn't really remember any of that. She does have a few vague nightmares that she figures are from about that time. She's been raised by her uncle, but she doesn't really feel as though she knows him, he's kind of aloof and she doesn't ask a lot of questions, mostly because he doesn't answer them to her satisfaction. Wen-shan and her uncle live fairly normal lives in Hong Kong, there is some western influence, things like Corn Flakes and rock and roll music, but her uncle doesn't really approve of them. Their lives are normal until the day the message comes. It comes by messenger and it's a rare enough thing that it causes quite a stir with their nosy neighbors. Wen-shan and her Uncle are invited to visit with a well-respected English man who says he has a surprise for them, and her uncle feels he's important enough for Wen-shan to miss part of a school day to visit him. The surprise is a box with a beautiful Jade dragon decorating the top. The best part about the box is what it contains inside, her grandfather's beautiful paintings and letters from Wen-shan's mother herself. Through these letters Wen-shan comes to know her mother and understand the reasons that she was sent away. I really enjoyed the story of this book, it's loosely based on a true story. I loved the letters from Wen-shan's mother. They show such a different outlook on the Chinese government than any I've ever seen before. I was grateful to have been able to read this book and learn about Chairman Mao and some of the atrocities that he forced others to live through. Though sad in some parts, I thought it was a good learning experience and I highly recommend this book!

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1. Forever
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Deseret Bookshelf Plus Review

I'm super excited to be able to tell you about Deseret Bookshelf's newest feature, Plus. I actually first heard about plus coming six months ago at Deseret Book's ladies night. I thought it sounded pretty great and now that I've tried it, I think it's even better than it sounded. It's basically a subscription that you add on top of the Deseret Bookshelf App. If you have Deseret Book's Platinum membership, you pay only $6.99 a month or $69 a year. If you don't it's $9.99 a month or $99 a year. Either way that's a really good deal for what you are going to be getting.

Here's the deal. With plus, you get to listen to all of their audiobooks...for FREE! Something I noticed on this is that you get to listen to even the newest books that are just barely in the store for FREE. I love this! Who has the time to run to the store to grab the book the very day it comes out? Not me, I'm too busy chasing kids around to do that!

Not to mention - have you…

Kayaks and Kisses

About the book: Brynn Caley is about to start her dream career running an outdoor sporting goods store when an out-of-town business guru makes his own offer on the property. Coerced into forming a temporary partnership, Brynn, with her ski experience, finds she has to work with fishing expert Gage to run the year-round shop. 

Through a series of innocent misconceptions and a few blatant lies, Brynn doesn’t realize that the handsome single guy on the construction crew is her new partner, and he doesn’t want to set her straight until he can gain her favor. She, on the other hand, would do anything not to work with the stuffy businessman she’s only met through email. 

Inspired by the movies You’ve Got Mail and The Shop around the Corner, Kayaks & Kisses is a heart-warming tale of finding love in autumn leaves, outdoor activities, and new friendships.

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