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Children of the Night: A Novel

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Children with no identity, come alive during the night China, a small village, the 1980’s. Ming was an only child born to loving parents during the ‘one child per family’ regime ,known as the “one child policy”,. She was lucky enough to be an only child but many in her village were not! Second-born children were hidden by their families from the authorities – kept up Children with no identity, come alive during the night China, a small village, the 1980’s. Ming was an only child born to loving parents during the ‘one child per family’ regime ,known as the “one child policy”,. She was lucky enough to be an only child but many in her village were not! Second-born children were hidden by their families from the authorities – kept up at night and hidden asleep under their houses during the day. “Children of the Night” fascinated Ming and she sneaked out to join them. She began staying up at night and playing with her friends until she too, started sleeping during the day. One night, the authorities raided her village, and brutally removed all the ‘identity less’ children who were playing outside at night, including Ming, despite her mother’s screams that she is an only child. The militia took them to a remote children’s house for re-education. Under harsh conditions of cold, hunger and physical abuse, Ming spends her adolescence there, even though she has an identity and belongs with her family. Her deep longing for her parents and home, instill in her a strong desire to escape. Will she succeed?


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Children with no identity, come alive during the night China, a small village, the 1980’s. Ming was an only child born to loving parents during the ‘one child per family’ regime ,known as the “one child policy”,. She was lucky enough to be an only child but many in her village were not! Second-born children were hidden by their families from the authorities – kept up Children with no identity, come alive during the night China, a small village, the 1980’s. Ming was an only child born to loving parents during the ‘one child per family’ regime ,known as the “one child policy”,. She was lucky enough to be an only child but many in her village were not! Second-born children were hidden by their families from the authorities – kept up at night and hidden asleep under their houses during the day. “Children of the Night” fascinated Ming and she sneaked out to join them. She began staying up at night and playing with her friends until she too, started sleeping during the day. One night, the authorities raided her village, and brutally removed all the ‘identity less’ children who were playing outside at night, including Ming, despite her mother’s screams that she is an only child. The militia took them to a remote children’s house for re-education. Under harsh conditions of cold, hunger and physical abuse, Ming spends her adolescence there, even though she has an identity and belongs with her family. Her deep longing for her parents and home, instill in her a strong desire to escape. Will she succeed?

30 review for Children of the Night: A Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    KBookblogger

    A beautiful and touching story. An interesting and unique subject matter (the one child per household policy in China which shockingly was only abolished in 2015). The author is very descriptive which i liked - i could really imagine myself in the rice paddies alongside poor Ming, in the sweltering heat and then in the blistering cold. It’s an emotional tale which really makes us feel for the characters. As readers, we experience their desperation, their heartache and their hope - hope that they A beautiful and touching story. An interesting and unique subject matter (the one child per household policy in China which shockingly was only abolished in 2015). The author is very descriptive which i liked - i could really imagine myself in the rice paddies alongside poor Ming, in the sweltering heat and then in the blistering cold. It’s an emotional tale which really makes us feel for the characters. As readers, we experience their desperation, their heartache and their hope - hope that they (the children of the night) will one day be reunited with their families. Really enjoyed this one - thank you to just.books.all.day ... for the ebook copy. I’m glad i got to read it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Píaras Cíonnaoíth

    A powerful and poignant story... ‘China's one-child policy was part of a birth planning program designed to control the size of its population. Distinct from the family planning policies of most other countries (which focus on providing contraceptive options to help women have the number of children they want), it set a limit on the number of children parents could have, the world's most extreme example of population planning.’ It was introduced in 1979 and eliminated at the end of 2015. Those ‘ch A powerful and poignant story... ‘China's one-child policy was part of a birth planning program designed to control the size of its population. Distinct from the family planning policies of most other countries (which focus on providing contraceptive options to help women have the number of children they want), it set a limit on the number of children parents could have, the world's most extreme example of population planning.’ It was introduced in 1979 and eliminated at the end of 2015. Those ‘children of the night’ were excluded from the family register which meant they did not possess a Hukou, which is "an identifying document, similar in some ways to the American social security card." In this respect they did not legally exist and as a result couldn’t access most public services, such as education and health care, and did not receive protection under the law. Author T.C Paul weaves a heart-rending, emotional and inspirational story that will captivate the reader from the beginning. The author paints a dramatic and fascinating tale of a deep longing in a very vivid and convincing way. Children of the Night had every element a good story should have. A solid plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well-illustrated scenes that make you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I really look for in a good book. It’s one of those stories that come along once in a while that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’ll be looking forward to reading more from T.C Paul the future. I would highly recommend this book. Five stars from me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sara Avrams

    A very moving story I sat and read this story with my heart aching for every child who suffers at the hands of cruel government policy kidnapping decisions. This story so clearly describes the unending damaged caused by such stupidity!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Did not live up to potential: great subject with so-so storytelling😒😴 January 5, 2019 Format: Paperback 😴 Started out well but then devolved into a story that could not keep my attention for the second half. Ming, the fictional child heroine, goes through harrowing times when Chinese authorities mistake her for a forbidden and unregistered "child of the night." Her travails and sorrows in a re-education child labor camp were indeed fascinating, but the author wanders into detailed tangents that sap Did not live up to potential: great subject with so-so storytelling😒😴 January 5, 2019 Format: Paperback 😴 Started out well but then devolved into a story that could not keep my attention for the second half. Ming, the fictional child heroine, goes through harrowing times when Chinese authorities mistake her for a forbidden and unregistered "child of the night." Her travails and sorrows in a re-education child labor camp were indeed fascinating, but the author wanders into detailed tangents that sapped my interest from the tale of Ming's journey through hardship until I had to push myself to finish it. Slow points included a long description of the life of a Falun Gong dissident that the heroine supposedly read a book about, a serial story game played in the children's camp, and Ming's recollection of a foreign book she read about a heroine named Lin who loved going to the theater with her mom. All were too long. And the ending had an extended lead-up and then just fizzled. I read a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda Sorden

    The children The children ! A Chinese re-education camp for babies ! So much cruelty so little love or even friendship. When life is so hopeless how do you cope and not wither away mentally when you are physically. Yet there are bits of hope and finally escape !!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sara Hawkins

    I was drawn in to this book! The characters were well developed and it was a quick read for me. I felt so sad for the children in the camps. I hated the ending. I wanted a better resolution and follow up. But all in all, a great read even if the ending wasn't too happy. I was drawn in to this book! The characters were well developed and it was a quick read for me. I felt so sad for the children in the camps. I hated the ending. I wanted a better resolution and follow up. But all in all, a great read even if the ending wasn't too happy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book could have been a very interesting book based on the subject on which it was supposedly written - the "one child policy" that existed in China for many years. There were children in her village that were kept hidden because they were second children born to some of the people in the small village that the main character came from. But Ming was a first born child who happened to be playing with the hidden children when the authorities came one night and took the hidden children away alo This book could have been a very interesting book based on the subject on which it was supposedly written - the "one child policy" that existed in China for many years. There were children in her village that were kept hidden because they were second children born to some of the people in the small village that the main character came from. But Ming was a first born child who happened to be playing with the hidden children when the authorities came one night and took the hidden children away along with Ming, who just happened to be playing with them on that same night. Her parents had papers to prove that she was legally theirs, but apparently that made no difference. So, this could have been a really good story, but the author made it pretty uninteresting because the main character didn't have anything much happen to her. The author spent a lot of time talking about things that happened that didn't do anything to move the plot forward. The main character spent the whole book trying to find her parents, but didn't do much about it when she had the chance until it was too late. So many things happened that just seemed like happenstance. And she ends up marrying this man who is verbally abusive to her. There seemed to be so many opportunities for the author to make the story interesting. I think that's probably why I continued reading - in the hope that something would happen. But no such luck. On top of a pretty boring story, the book ended abruptly in a weird way. I can't believe I read this whole book because it wasn't very good.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I’ve often wondered about the management of the one-child policy in China - how it works in practice, how it is policed, what it is like to live in a society with such a policy. This book answers a lot of those questions. So, from that point of view the subject matter is interesting - and harrowing from the point of view of both children and parents. The book itself, however, could be improved. The author wandered off the main story a few times to relate the detail of books read by Ming and stor I’ve often wondered about the management of the one-child policy in China - how it works in practice, how it is policed, what it is like to live in a society with such a policy. This book answers a lot of those questions. So, from that point of view the subject matter is interesting - and harrowing from the point of view of both children and parents. The book itself, however, could be improved. The author wandered off the main story a few times to relate the detail of books read by Ming and stories told to pass the time with the children in the home. These went on a bit too long for my taste and I did feel that so much detail on these parts was unnecessary and affected the momentum of the story. I’m in two minds about the writing style itself - I felt it was a little pedestrian. Is that on purpose because it is written first person by the main character who is a child? If so, maybe that is intended to be part of the mood of the book and as such has a certain charm. If that is not the case, and this is the authors natural style, I don’t think it would appeal to me in a different story. All in all I liked the book, but I just didn’t love it. I received this book free as an ARC reader in return for my honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deb Kellogg

    A Heroine to Love I could not put Children of the Night down. The main character tells the story from her years as a little girl to the words of an adolescent thru her early adult years. China's one child law has always been seen as a law that creates overwhelming hardship and loss. This novel creates a young girl who is taken by police when she is playing with children who are hidden in the day. The reader watches her grow up in a horrific situation. Her imagination and resilience help her survi A Heroine to Love I could not put Children of the Night down. The main character tells the story from her years as a little girl to the words of an adolescent thru her early adult years. China's one child law has always been seen as a law that creates overwhelming hardship and loss. This novel creates a young girl who is taken by police when she is playing with children who are hidden in the day. The reader watches her grow up in a horrific situation. Her imagination and resilience help her survive along with the unfortunate children also imprisoned because their family had more than one child. The only pArt I didn't like was the end because it came too quickly and I want to know more of Ming's life. She is an endearing character and one I will not soon forget. An excellent book that will become a favorite book of yours as it is mine!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Trina

    This was such an enjoyable and emotional read, I couldn’t put it down. Set during the 1980s, the author takes the reader on Ming’s journey through life during China’s “one-child” policy. The vivid imagery used by the author, T. C Paul, allows you to feel as though you are there with the character, Ming. Through the writing you feel the desire, sadness, hope, and determination of this character. The idea of fate and the bond between parent and child, particularly mother and daughter, are illumina This was such an enjoyable and emotional read, I couldn’t put it down. Set during the 1980s, the author takes the reader on Ming’s journey through life during China’s “one-child” policy. The vivid imagery used by the author, T. C Paul, allows you to feel as though you are there with the character, Ming. Through the writing you feel the desire, sadness, hope, and determination of this character. The idea of fate and the bond between parent and child, particularly mother and daughter, are illuminated. The ending brought the entirety of this story to a satisfying close. This is a novel that touched my heart, made me cry, and will stay with me for a long time to come.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Ming was an only child but when she found the "Children of the Night" she wanted to be with them. One night a raid happened and she was taken along with all of the forbidden children. The book was heart-wrenching but hard to get through. There were so many parts that were repetitive and overly detailed but then there were parts that I wish would have been longer. It is a sad but good read for anyone interested in a different culture and to realize that sometimes our own leaders don't have our be Ming was an only child but when she found the "Children of the Night" she wanted to be with them. One night a raid happened and she was taken along with all of the forbidden children. The book was heart-wrenching but hard to get through. There were so many parts that were repetitive and overly detailed but then there were parts that I wish would have been longer. It is a sad but good read for anyone interested in a different culture and to realize that sometimes our own leaders don't have our best interests at heart. Received this book as an ARC and I am voluntarily reviewing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Randy Tramp

    They have no identity. Second-born children hidden by their families. Why? Because China has a one-child policy. Ming is an only child. She was curious of the Children of the Night. That curiosity cost her her freedom. One night authorities removed all the 'identity-less' children, including Ming. What a powerful story. Communist China is cruel to children. This book reveals the path of a child, who's not wanted by the government. Ming lives her life and the past continually revisits her thoughts, They have no identity. Second-born children hidden by their families. Why? Because China has a one-child policy. Ming is an only child. She was curious of the Children of the Night. That curiosity cost her her freedom. One night authorities removed all the 'identity-less' children, including Ming. What a powerful story. Communist China is cruel to children. This book reveals the path of a child, who's not wanted by the government. Ming lives her life and the past continually revisits her thoughts, even as an adult. I highly recommend this book. It'll change you.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Townsend

    Policy Destroying Lives Such a personal story of how a misguided government policy can destroy lives. Beautifully written, especially considering the horrors that are so much of the story. I did leave me with hope for this one victim and her new found family but left me in despair wondering what happened to the others taken with her. These children were taken into slavery by a government. We're they released? What happened to them? Policy Destroying Lives Such a personal story of how a misguided government policy can destroy lives. Beautifully written, especially considering the horrors that are so much of the story. I did leave me with hope for this one victim and her new found family but left me in despair wondering what happened to the others taken with her. These children were taken into slavery by a government. We're they released? What happened to them?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mummy's Naughty Corner

    Well this is one of those books that surprised me. It's not my usual read and to be honest I didn't think I'd enjoy it. I liked the look into this culture and I liked that the bad things weren't sugar coated or played down. It sounded like a scary and cruel time for the people. I felt so bad that she finally made it home to find out that her parents had died. It just helped to stamp how bad these things were. It's amazing what happened in history and in other countries. Well this is one of those books that surprised me. It's not my usual read and to be honest I didn't think I'd enjoy it. I liked the look into this culture and I liked that the bad things weren't sugar coated or played down. It sounded like a scary and cruel time for the people. I felt so bad that she finally made it home to find out that her parents had died. It just helped to stamp how bad these things were. It's amazing what happened in history and in other countries.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rita Mahan

    Quite interesting story of children torn from their parents and placed in a government “home” because of the one child policy. Ming is truly an only child but is taken to a life of misery. She survives by believing that one day her Mother will come for her. Years go by without release until she befriends a teacher who has come to teach all the children to read and write. Physically she is still enslaved but her mind and books allow her to go places she never dreamed of.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Excellent story of life in China and what it did to this young girl. I learned a lot and the only change I would've liked was the ending. I would have liked to know if she was able to get back to her husband. Excellent story of life in China and what it did to this young girl. I learned a lot and the only change I would've liked was the ending. I would have liked to know if she was able to get back to her husband.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Fascinating boo I’m not sure how I feel about this book. The manner of telling starting to become annoying, but at the same time compelling. The subject matter was what it was. Painful, direct, blunt in many ways.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    A thought provoking read! I felt as though I was walking through the story with the main character. This amazing book is beautifully written and full of rich details about life in China and Hong Kong. This author is worth following!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Worth a read It’s hard to believe that something like this could actually happen, how could a government be so heartless, children who suffered like this and lived through it must be stronger than they know.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Diggins

    Heart wrenching! Reads like an autobiography, I cannot recall ever before being surprised that a book was a work of fiction. Painfully raw in her description, this author drew me in and kept me at one sitting. A powerful example of the human spirit, of survival, of hope.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marlene Dick

    Very moving This book tells you so much about what happened to children born during the one child policy in China. It follows with great detail and understanding, one such child. An amazing book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Lee Monahan

    Historical representation of a Chinese child taken from her parents. Good Ming gives us a very extensive explanation of her life after she was taken from her parents.The work camps that these children lived and tried to survive

  23. 4 out of 5

    Diane Secchiaroli

    China A story about the one child rule in China and it’s effects on the citizens. Well written historical novel that I would recommend for anyone interested in Chinese history.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Constantino

    Chinese Revolution This was an interesting look at the history of the Chinese cultural revolution through the eyes of an innocent child trapped in a "reeducation" camp. Chinese Revolution This was an interesting look at the history of the Chinese cultural revolution through the eyes of an innocent child trapped in a "reeducation" camp.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Constance

    Very good! This is a side of history which is hidden and forgotten! How sad to think of all the families torn apart!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joanreconnu

    Very enlightening and sad story . Couldn't put it down as I followed the story of a child's life forever changed by one mistake. So grateful to live in a free country! Very enlightening and sad story . Couldn't put it down as I followed the story of a child's life forever changed by one mistake. So grateful to live in a free country!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Hinkle

    Loved this book very fast read

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wanda Ramos

    Good and disappointing The book is well written. However, the ending is not complete and fails this book. I was disappointed in this.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Calla

    I have always wondered about the one-child law in China, and whether any of the parents tried to hide the siblings. Although this story was not what I expected, it answered questions for me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bkk

    Insightful A sad story with a happy ending. Possibly the story of many young children during that time in China. Well told and heart-rending.

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