A Heart For Freedom
by Chai Ling
Published by Tyndale House Publishers
This amazing story is the autobiography of Chai Ling.
It begins with her life as the daughter of Chinese military doctors, through relationships, going off to college and quite accidentally becoming the face of student leadership in what began as a peaceful protest and ended with the massacre of Beijing citizens and Chinese students.
With brutal honesty, Ling shares her upbringing and what life in China was like for women in the '80s; how limited the freedom and how strict the expectations. Permits were required to marry and have children; a woman was to defer to her father and her husband.
It was, in many ways, that societal pressure that led to her involvement in the protest. She felt she should support her husband, who was an active leader.
Following the military action in Tiananmen Square, Ling was on the run for ten months, altering her features to escape detection and execution by the government. Eventually, she and her husband escaped to Paris and, from there, to the United States.
Freedoms that Americans take for granted were difficult for Ling and many of her friends who also made it to the US. Luckily, her story has a happy ending. Unlike so many who were in that square on June 4, 1989.
This was a difficult book for me to read. Mostly because I simply couldn't comprehend living in a world of limited to no rights or personal freedoms. Of living in fear that saying or doing the wrong thing could end your life or destroy your family. Of poverty so extreme that surely death would be preferable.
I recommend this book to everyone. Life for the average person has not improved greatly in China since 1989; for women, the story is far worse.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network <http://mediacenter.tyndale.com/> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.