My Book Review-Ties That Bind, Ties That Break

Ties That Bind, Ties That Break is a book that I just finished reading by Lensey Namioka. It tells about a young girl who decided to stand up against a century old custom of having feet bound. As a result of her stance, her engagement was broken off. No engagement for a girl who wouldn’t consent to her feet being bound. She then went on to a missionary school where she learned English with the hopes of becoming a teacher. Very few Chinese women ever became teachers. When her father died of tuberculosis her uncle gave her three choices, none of which she liked and it certainly didn’t include finishing school. She ran away and went to work taking care of two missionary children. She became a fine teacher and later moved to America never to see her family again.


After reading this story the title played over and over again in my mind. What are the ties that bind us together as a family of God? What times cause breaks? Are the ties that we think that bind us together really the ones that Jesus has asked us to hold on it or should we like Ailin in the story break with custom and change. Are we sitting in the tradition of our Fathers and Mothers? Are we effective or ineffective for Jesus? Is there anything happening? Are we on the same old treadmill day after day? Or is the Holy Spirit taking us on one adventure after another with Jesus?

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About rko777

I am a novice writer and painter who loves to be creative. I love singing but can't sing without a hymnal, except for children's songs. I love to make up my own songs and love the old hymns. I love to garden and got that love from my Mom and Dad who taught be everything I know from planting to harvesting to canning. I'm happy gardening, walking with my pug, JD Sir Winston Churchill, painting, and crafting. I love to spend Saturday's sitting in my rocker going through a bible study. I love working with elementary school aged children and seeing them use their creative gifts. I have taught Sunday school for a number of years and taught in the public schools for 18 years. I might say I'm retired but I spend most of my time subbing and enjoy it immensely. The kids spark my own creativeness.

7 thoughts on “My Book Review-Ties That Bind, Ties That Break

  1. I think the setting of this book was about 1922 when China was in great turmoil. I have just been reading Emily by Montgomery setting in Canada and about the same era.

    It is so amazing to us now how these stories so fascinate us because time and customs are so different than how we may know them. today. Makes me think what will it be like in another 100 years from now.

    I would like to highly recommend another excellent book by Lensey Namioka,”Half and Half” Fiona Cheng , eleven years of age is half and half-her father is Chinese and her mother is Scottish. Children of many backgrounds, mixed or not, will relate to Fiona’s drive to fit in and her realizations that everyone has something that is different and that her life isn’t always about race. Lots of humor.

    Thanks Rena for reminding me of another great writer of children’s stories of such interest and setting and era that I so love.

  2. In reading what youve read Rena and Sara Im just thinking of how things have changed just since 1992…most had no computor no cell phone I personally had none….no car didnt work for the county….bible studies were held in church members homes…now bible studies on The Daily Lily cell phone computor car job…..I too think what will it be like too in 100 years…..Rena cant wait to hear more about what you read

  3. I agree with you DJ..times have changed, technology has changed, ways of doing things have changed. If we don’t make changes also and adapt to new ways of doing things we fall behind, others move on and the gap widens in our interpersonal relationships and we lose our effectiveness for Christ. The communication tie doesn’t bind. To answer Rena’s question, how can the Holy Spirit take us on one adventure after another if we we refuse to use His mode of transportation?

  4. I love book reviews. Thanks, Rena & Sara for sharing these thought-provoking stories with us. I teach children of many many cultures. Our school system has families of over 41 languages and multi-cultures. The insights gained through these fascinating novels and biographies give a glimpse into the thoughts and hearts of children of all backgrounds. Thanks for the tips on two great books.

  5. Rena thanks for sharing this book with us. What an amazing young lady. I love a bold spirit. This young lady sets an awesome example for us to follow. She overcame the impossible. Lord please let bless me with a bold spirit and help me to be an overcomer. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Rena,
    After reading your blog, I couldn’t help but think of how much courage this young woman had. It couldn’t have been easy for her to “go against custom”, but she did and she succeeded. I think of the courage it took for Shadrack, Meshack, and Abindigo to refuse to bow when told, the courage Daniel must have had, when thrown in the den, the courage Moses’ mother had, when she put her baby, in that water. If I read God’s Word; correctly, I believe He wants us to have courage, to do the right things in life. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Chickenfarmer and Needles, your comments about her courage make us see that being courageous is an essential ingredient to obtaining what God intends for us and that we can’t be afraid to go against the flow. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
    Proverbs 29:25 NIV

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