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Summary

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020

Set during the Gold Rush, in a re-imagined American West, Lucy and Sam, 12 and 11, are newly orphaned siblings. With their father's body on their backs, they roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial. The siblings must battle with their own memories, the illusion of the American Dream and each other.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold is an epic debut novel about family and the search for both a home and a fortune.

©2020 C Pam Zhang (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Vivid imagery of hard times and hard lives

This story is clearly written by a wordsmith who must have spent hours and hours drafting and redrafting words and sentences to paint vivid, pictures of depth in the reader’s minds. It’s a tale of hardship and poverty but there is also hope ,dreams and family. Definitely no Hollywood take on the gold rush! There were a few times I thought it was almost heavy going and descriptions could be laboured but perhaps they had to be to convey the character building life the protagonists lived. I honestly think I would have given up at times if reading actual text but the wonderful narration saw me through and I’m glad I stuck with it. The narrator’s calm, soothing tones complemented the writer’s descriptions so the focus was on the choice of words and not the voice which isn’t always the case. The ending has given me lots to think about and maybe there could be a sequel ? I would certainly recommend the book. It’s powerful and leaves many deep impressions.

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Better than I anticipated

This book had a Slightly under whelming end, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

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Slow-paced Western with plenty of twists

Really enjoyed this debut for presenting a different perspective on the Western genre and giving other voices the opportunity to speak. Plenty of twists to keep you intrigued and a vivid sense of place to locate you in the story. The non linear narrative won't be for everyone but it worked for me.

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A story of immigration and gold rush.

I really enjoyed the book, which voices the experiences of poor Chinese immigrants in the American West. The writer captures the stark beauty of the landscape and how this influences the peoples.