The Same Moon

The Same Moon (Journey to the West #1)

New Paperback Cover

New Paperback Cover

Book Blurb: Pearl Zhang was born in Sichuan Province in China, and grew up during the Cultural Revolution. She was raised in a typically Chinese manner, went to school, got a job, got married, and her whole life path was mapped out, or so it seemed. 

Then she seized the opportunity to study in the United Kingdom – and stayed. How did she adjust to the Western way of life, and what did she have to do to overcome the barriers? Would she find happiness and fulfilment with her English suitor in Scotland, or would her heartache continue? She was in a new world, both foreign and exciting – under the Same Moon. 

This book will take you on a journey full of surprises and discoveries – Hop on and enjoy the ride!

Since its publication, it has received wonderful reviews, from Amazon UK Kindle,  Amazon USA ;  Smashwords and GoodReads. I am delighted to share some of them here with you.

Reviews from Amazon

fantastic two part novel can’t wait for the third one  5 stars By A Graham



The same moon (journey to the west) was a joy to read. The author’s natural ability to bring characters and events to life is thoroughly displayed throughout the story. Upon reading the novel, one can easily envisgage the main character Pearl and the people around her; all of whom, despite being fictional, do possess such moving and powerful emotions. History is also cleverly inserted in the storyline without taking over the main plot, yet its presence undeniably important in shaping the main character’s destiny. I am also inspired by the sense of optimism that shines through every page. The author’s “glass half full” outlook on life certainly has made an impact on me as a reader. Junying’s sharp observation and her quick wit also contribute in making this book a thoroughly enjoyable piece of literature. This is a real gem in the modern literature world and will definitely be one proudly displayed on my bookshelf if it ever becomes a paperback.

A Beautiful Woman’s Memories Relived….., 5 stars

Pearl’s memories from China to UK and back and then back again placed me in her pocket with not only a glimpse of the scenery, scents and tastes of the foods, but also I felt her pulse which rose with the passions first felt as a very young woman and when the yearning for more became something as much taken as given as she rose in her education, knowledge of mankind and wisdom of what and who should be honored in her memory.

Junying Kirk is a gifted writer whom I hope someday to meet personally.

Journey   5 Stars; By Sandra Lynne Padgett

This review is from: The Same Moon (Journey To The West) (Kindle Edition)

I have read only two books on Chinese culture, the first being an autobiography and this being a novel. This rings true to the autobiography in every way and then some. I followed Pearl Zhang through every step of her journey to self actualization with bated breath and high hopes for her goals to be realized. She is a strong yet sensitive woman who knows basically what she wants to do with her life as far as a career goes. Other of life’s events happen along the way, including a marriage and a child. This is a story that gets your attention immediately and keeps it. I really enjoyed the format of a memoir, it was easy to read and flowed smoothly all the way through. I am looking forward to more works by this author. I received this free as an ebook from the author for an honest review.

Enthralling  5 Stars; By kenyon15

This book is full of chinese history and colour and truly shows an insight into how different the western lifestyle actually is in comparison. I really got into the characters and enjoyed the book immensely.

The best book I read this year, 5 Stars By Julie Posner

Ms. Junying Kirk has such passion for writing and it shows in her writing from “The Same Moon”. The storyline and the characters she expressed in the book is reawakening. I was introduced to her writings by my husband Matt Posner, who is also an author and wrote The School of the Ages: Ghost in the Crystal and many other series as well. I have also purchased the second book written by Ms. Junying Kirk “Trials of Life – Journey to the West Trilogy”. I have become such a great admirer of your writings; please continue to generate more of these masterpieces. Best- Julie P

It’s the Same Moon,  5 Stars By KW

383907_461528263912170_317485288_nThe Same Moon was a delight to read. At times I felt it was a little over reliant on minutiae, but such detail did help make the the life of Pearl Zhang come alive. While reading, I was able to inhabit the body of the protagonist and see the world through her eyes. I was able to enter the mind of a girl growing up in the final years of China under Mao and share the highs and lows she experienced maturing in that environment. It was intriguing to discover that even in a so-called State-dominated society, the loves and hates that develop between those interacting with you predominate in much the same way as they do in a supposedly freer society. Ms. Kirk made it possible for me to experience what life was like in world far removed from my own, but full of 90% of the same daily anxieties, hopes and ambitions that dominated my own experience of growing up. I loved the way Pearl would periodically display ethnocentric notions of psychological qualities she believed to be uniquely Chinese, but which turned out to be similar to some that I believed to be unique to the local community in the U.S. in which I was raised. Pearl may have grown up in China during the seventies and eighties, while I grew up in a rural community in the western U.S. during the fifties and sixties; even so, we experienced 90% or more of the same hopes, dreams, hassles, and setbacks. Regardless the differences in countries, political systems and even gender, I could relate with almost everything in this novel.

The only parts that put a definite gulf between us were the few times that the writer felt it necessary to have Pearl bask in the “elite” aspects of her educational background. I myself have been far from being an “elite” in anything. Even in this regard, though, I could understand the rationale for making this uniqueness plain. After all, at the time, Pearl would have been unable to study in England if she had not excelled in the Chinese educational system. Therefore, her being a member of an “educational elite” was such a prominent part of her life.

Most of the second part of the book focuses on her life living in Scotland and England. It was fascinating to read her experiences as she matured and assimilated, but, for me, the depiction of life growing up in China was the best part of the novel. It was the part that made it clear to me that we do live under the same moon. I’m looking forward to reading the next volume of this trilogy.

One of the best novels from Chinese authors!,  5 Stars By Bing (UK)

I’ve read almost all the novels rewritten my Chinese authors published in recent years. What’s different about Junying’s The Same Moon is that it’s about the life of a normal Chinese people. Being a Chinese who was brought up in China and now living in the west, there’s so much in Junying’s The Same Moon that I can relate to. Through the eyes of Pearl, I’m going back to the days when I was in China and my own journey to the west. To me this is not just a novel, its a history book which acurately recorded the lives of ‘normal’ Chinese people in the mordern China during cultural revolution/China’s opening to the west and for some of them their dreams of living in a free world. I can’t wait to read Junying’s next novel. In fact I order her next novel after read just a few pages of the The Same Moon!


More Reviews from GoodReads

Peter Tieryas

This is a very passionate and emotional book about the life of Pearl Zhang that is semi-fiction, semi-autobiographical. There are many moving passages as we see Pearl endure the swings life throws at her and yet she grows and evolves with each step. Junying Kirk evokes the innocence of youth all the way to the disillusionment and new hope Pearl eventually finds through her descriptive prose. There are some very painful and disturbing moments, ones that, even as a reader, feel “like a knife stab…more
Matt Posner

Matt Posner rated it 5 Stars

The Same Moon is a novel in memoir form by my friend Junying Kirk. Made from a mix of fascinating details from daily struggle and the intense and poetic feelings of men and women in love, it chronicles the life of a Chinese girl growing to womanhood, first under the oppressive yoke of Maoism, and then, as a graduate student, in the United Kingdom. Protagonist Pearl Zhang grows up unaware of her beauty, enduring both physical and emotional torment, and then enters into a series of disappointing a…more

Maureen rated it 5 of 5 stars

Pearl grows up during Chairman Mao’s cultural revolution and has aspirations uncommon to most within that society,at that time. However,she has to make some huge sacrifices along the way, to make those aspirations a reality. The style of writing felt almost biographical at times, and took me into a world of which I had little knowledge. I particularly liked the first part of the story in China , though having said that, Pearl has such an interesting life wherever she is! Junying writes in such v…more
Bin Yuan

Bin Yuan rated it 5 Stars

To me, The Same Moon accounted a true and first hand experience from the author that brought up powerful feelings inside me. On reading it I have gained a deep understanding of the world in which we live, through the author’s vivid descriptions and sharp observation. I was taken to a journey I have never been before, even though I came from China.This is the story of Pearl Zhang and her family in China, It is through their lives that family history unfolds and tragic secrets are exposed. The au…more
Donna Carrick

Donna Carrick rated it 5 Stars

The full spectrum of human experience…The Same Moon by Junying Kirk is the tale of Pearl Zhang, a “spicy Sichuan girl” who grows up during Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution. More than just another “coming of age” novel, I found this to be a wonderfully-rendered character study. At all times fighting for freedom, Pearl entertains personal aspirations that are not in keeping with the expectations of her society.It would be an injustice to call The Same Moon a mere love story, although love is c…more
Eri Nelson

Eri Nelson rated it 5 Stars

Recommends it for: Yes
From the first moment, the lovely Pearl who shyly hid her smitten entrancement over the captivating Rain, took hold of my conscious thought and swept me away with its exquisite sway.As I read further, loosing myself within the richly enchantment of words, the notice of classic reads caught my interest. How many times I too could claim to the marvelous reads as to the likes of Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, Jane Austin, and so many more. Perhaps it was too early to say but my fondness for this charmin…more
Katy Sozaeva

Katy Sozaeva rated it 5 Stars

Shelves: ebooki-edited
Pearl Zhang was born in the Sichuan province on mainland China in 1961. She was raised in a traditional Chinese manner, went to school, got a job, got married, had her single child … and then her life changed. She was given the opportunity to go study at Warwick University in United Kingdom for one year – and stayed. She adjusted to Western life, divorced her husband, lost her child to him, work, struggled, scrimped and saved. She was in a new world, a completely foreign situation – but under th…more
Sandra  Valente

Sandra Valente rated it 4 1/2 stars.

E-book copy provided by author

I’ll start by mentioning the fact that I’ve worked on this book. Ahhh, you might say; she’s biased. Not in the least. I’m nothing if not honest, and won’t wax lyrical about a book I didn’t enjoy. Had that been the case, this review would not be here – at all. My thoughts, views or comments hereof have not been influenced in any manner, shape or form. Just because I work on a book, does not mean I will like it (the story, characters and so on), and I won…more

G.S. Johnston

It’s not often you read a novel that is so edifying it’s hard to put down. There are a few example of this – Our Sister Killjoy by Ama Ata Aidoo and My Place by Sally Morgan, both post-colonial writing.In a lot of ways, The Same Moon falls under the same rubric as these. An intensely personal tale but based in a world I had no idea about. Not only does Junying Kirk’s novel skilfully describe a very different world, the first person narrative explores the completely different mindset of a commun…more
Vanessa Wu

Vanessa Wu rated it 5 Stars

I read this book more than a month ago and let it settle in my mind before writing this review. I did this deliberately because I think few readers could have the same response as me to this book or read it with the same appreciation. I do not know the author exactly but I feel I know her through our shared experiences.Like me, she is originally from China, has an academic background and was steeped in English language and literature before coming to England and continuing her studies here. In T…more
Dannie Hill

Dannie Hill rated it 4 Stars

I found The Same Moon by Junying Kirk to be a delightful read. From the beautiful cover to the end of an interesting journey in the life of Pearl Zhang. Pearl was born and lived into her twenties in mainland China during the harsh days of Communism. A period of turmoil and strife.It was very interesting to learn about how Pearl and others lived, loved and learned in an all but secret time to the Western world. Pearl’s childhood was hard but she always put education as a goal to strive for and be…more
Sinead MacDughlas

Sinead MacDughlas rated it 4 Stars

An extremely enjoyable readThis book is written in a fictional memoir style, making it easier for me to become emotionally attached to the main character, Pearl. I followed her journey from East to West eagerly. It’s easy to tell the author has a deep working knowledge of the culture and history of China. Some people may be put off by the depth of detail, and the amount of historical background, but I loved finding out more about a culture that already peaks my interest. Several times I found my…more
Eden Baylee

Eden Baylee rated it 5 Stars

As a Canadian born Chinese, I didn’t have the history of China as a foundation for reading this book, but growing up Chinese in a very traditional home, even in French-speaking Canada afforded me great insight into Ms. Kirk’s sometimes painful adjustment to her new life in England.I’ve greatly enjoyed Ms. Kirk’s writing on her excellent blog where she chronicles many of her real-life travels. Though The Same Moon is a book of fiction, I suspect it is deeply steeped in the experiences of the auth…more
Kate Bowyer

Kate Bowyer rated it 4 Stars

If you’re looking for a book to take you away to a foreign land than this is for you. We get to live through Pearl in China and than in the UK as she struggles to fight for what she wants and has to make some big sacrifices on the way.It’s funny to see how families around the world are not so different sometimes even if cultures are very different. I really enjoyed getting to know China and as I read it I was thinking back on where I was in my life as to what was going on in China and know how…more

Vered Ehsani rated it 3 Stars

The Same Moon follows the story of Pearl through her childhood and early adulthood in China to her first several years in the UK where she pursues her dream of higher studies. The first half of the book provides a fascinating glimpse into the day-to-day reality of a young person growing up in China, and her perceptions and observations of a country in transition from strict communism to a relatively more open society. The traditional culture is also brought to life through Pearl’s narrative. Whe…more

Eve rated it 5 Stars

 The book <the same moon> , is unique in terms of writing styles. It combines eastern mentality with polished Western literature, a-must-read book for those who interested in knowing more about upbringing of an ordinary Chinese with no preferred business or political background. The story of the character Pearl truly and genuinely reflects an average chinese born in 1960’s. The description of the internal monologue of the character is fascinating , delicate & superb ! In addition to the flawless writing style, the most charming part of this novel is the ability that author communicated herself through lively words, allowing reader get into her own world and echoing with her.Last but not the least, author’s good command of “posh English” is mostly admired and appreciated. It is a book worth being studied, not merely read.
Mira Kolar-Brown

Mira Kolar-Brown rated it 5 Stars

 What a book, what a life!In an easy, unaffected narrative, Junying Kirk tells a story of life in China before and after the death of Mao Zedong. In the first half of the book she talks about family life, personal relationships, survival, customs and traditions, politics and bureaucracy as experienced first hand in an environment that offered little personal choice.In the second half of the book, the young woman tries to make her way at the other side of the world, battling the obstacles, making friends, forging relationships and jumping through the hoops on the foreign soil and in a foreign language.Very cleverly, the book is written in English as a second language, a touch that enhances authenticity and provides an interesting insight into the culture and way of thinking.
Jenna Christy

Jenna Christy rated it 3 Stars
I still can’t quite decide what genre to identify “The Same Moon” with. It has a little bit of everything: drama, romance, but it’s pretty much the life story of Pearl, the main character. Honestly, my first impression of The Same Moon isn’t good, I thought it was going to be a looong read. As I started to read it I thought it had an “autobiography-like” format, where the protagonist was telling her own story. As I went on, I found her stories interesting. However, there were lots of things go…more

Trilogy Cover

Links of all my books:,  &  Smashwords. Also available in SpainGermanyFranceJapanBrazilItaly,  CanadaIndia and Mexico, or just click The Same Moon.

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4 Responses to The Same Moon

  1. Julie Posner says:

    Hi, Junying:

    I have become your fan by reading your first book “The Same Moon”. Thanks to my husband Matt Posner, who helped me download your book on my Kindle. I like your writing style so much and I strongly encourage you to write more masterpieces like “The Same Moon”. I give your storyline big five *****.

    Best always,

    Julie Posner

    • Junying says:


      You’ve made my day by your encouraging comments – I’m so glad that you enjoyed reading The Same Moon and like my writing style.

      Thanks for dropping by and showing your wonderful support – I shall keep writing and producing more good books, so I won’t disappoint fantastic readers like you 🙂

      All the best in return!

  2. Miyu says:

    Hello, Junying:

    I felt drawn to the prologue in this book. Good books have a good beginning.
    I couldn’t help getting emotionally attached to Pearl.

    I had studied translation English book. I wanted to be a literary translator. But now I prefer to write a novel myself. I began writing a new novel for a contest. I could learn various things in your book. Thank you very much.

    I really love both names “Pearl” and “The Same Moon”. : )

    Best wishes,

    Your friend, Miyu

    • Junying says:

      Hello. Miyu,

      How wonderful of you to pay me a visit here. I’m truly pleased to hear that Pearl’s story has affected you in an emotional way, so much so that you will be writing a novel yourself! That’s the best compliment towards my writing efforts and I’m so happy for you. I look forward to the day when I can read your story, and I have no doubt that it would be enchanting read!

      Enjoy your weekend and hope to catch up with you soon 🙂

      Your friend, Junying

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