To the Edge of the Sky: A Story of Love, Betrayal, Suffering and the Strength of Human Courage
‘I wanted to tell the whole world the truth about China. People living outside didn’t really understand
what happened – because my parents died a long time ago I could not do my duty and look after them.
I was too young. So I have written a book for them.’
Despite suffering terrible heartache, loss and pain growing up in communist China, Anhua Gao found courage, hope and, eventually, love. This is her story: the story of a woman who, whether she tried to live with or struggle against the harsh ideology of Red China, was treated with shocking inhumanity.
When her parents died, leaving Anhua and her siblings orphans, they were hailed by
Mao Tse Tung as revolutionary martyrs. But her parents' reputation proved a fragile
shield from the horrors of communist China. Her life torn apart by the whims of the
state, Anhua found herself alone — something she fully realised when, after serving
with distinction as a nurse in the Red Army, her own sister betrayed her, blighting
her future. Ill-
Moving, sometimes shocking, but always compelling, this is the tale of someone who, against unbelievable odds, survived and, finally, found a happiness she had not dared to hope for.
“She tells the by-
“Painful to read but difficult to put down, the book explains China's recent history through fascinating and harrowing personal accounts.”
“An authentic survivor’s story, more disturbing and awe-
“The book is an excellent account of life during and before the reign of Mao Tse-
Jill Dobbe -
“A well written, vivid account.”
Brigitt Amthor -
“This is an exhilarating read. It’s emotive, it’s beautiful and it’s shocking, but Anhua’s serenity and strength shine through. A must read.”
Tracy Shephard -
“A real eye-
Jacqui Sinclair -
“There are highs and lows, tears and laughter in this beautifully descriptive book. To find out what really happened in China in the 20th Century and how it affected Anhua is incredible. A really touching read.”
Echoes in an Empty Room
“A remarkable human story, written from the heart.”
Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans.
“A fascinating and moving memoir of life in twentieth-
Nicky Harman, literary translator.
“Thanks to the author for revealing one of the darkest periods in Chinese history with her personal experience and elaborate writing. As an old man who has gone through the notorious Cultural Revolution, her story is by no means unfamiliar to me. I strongly recommend this book to the younger generations. Anhua’s touching story will keep warning us the tragic consequences of tyrannical rule, and constantly remind us that we should do our utmost to prevent our children from suffering what young Anhua had suffered.”
Gao Chao, professor of Nanjing University, China
“Despite her hard work, good marks in school and loyalty to China, Anhua Gao finally falls prey to the persecution. She watches many family members and friends betrayed first. One injustice piled on another, she is all the more determined to use her English skills and get to Britain at any cost. Hers is not simply an escape story; this is also the tale of finding friendship and dedication, solidarity and hope that can’t be destroyed no matter the political circumstances.”
Midwest Book Review
“I have read many books about this time in China's history. This is one of the best. I would recommend this to anyone who has read, loved and been inspired by the classic Wild Swans.”
Ann Applin -
“An incredible story. I am praying that this means a follow up book is planned. Please, Anhua?”
Kate Southey -
“I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in China around 1940s-
“A poignant and powerful story, this is definitely not a book you can read lightly.
Vivid descriptions… An eye-
Liliyana Shadowlyn (Reviewer)