Read Inn of the Sixth Happiness by Alan Burgess Online


Rejected by mission agencies, Englishwoman earns the money to send herself to China. There she opens an inn for mule drivers, serves as "foot inspector," and advises the local Mandarin. But when the Japanese invade, she discovers her true destiny---leading 100 orphans across the mountains to safety....

Title : Inn of the Sixth Happiness
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789998070042
Format Type : Audio Cassette
Number of Pages : 488 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Inn of the Sixth Happiness Reviews

  • Michele Brenton
    2019-03-13 06:30

    I read this book when I was about ten years old. My grandmother was a missionary in India andshe used to give me 'improving' books to read - this being one of them. Luckily my grandmother had extremely good taste in literature and every 'improving' book she gave me was also immensely readable as this one is. I was especially keen on Gladys Aylward as she was as the title says a small woman. As am I - her story is an inspiration to anyone who may feel that they are too small or insignificant to make a difference in the world. Maybe we can't all make such heroic differences but we can all make a positive contribution in some way. This book taught me that lesson.

  • Rachel
    2019-03-11 13:14

    My childhood hero was this obscure missionary who gave her whole life for the people of a rural Chinese province. She was too poor and under-educated to qualify for the mission society, so she purchased a train ticket and road across Europe, Russia, Manchuria (during a border war), and into north-western China. She stopped when her money ran out and opened an inn in the small town where she got off the train. She stopped battles in prison, inspected little girls feet to prevent foot-binding and mostly shared the gospel with any who would listen.

  • Book Concierge
    2019-02-23 14:32

    What an extraordinary woman Gladys Aylward was. In 1930 she left England for China entirely on her own volition. She had quit school at age 14, having never passed a single examination (per her own recollection), and had worked as a parlourmaid. But she felt called by God to become a missionary in China, and even though no established organization would consider her application she was determined to fulfill God’s wish. She heard of a lone woman, Mrs Lawson, working in a remote area of China who hoped to be able to pass along her work to a younger woman. So Gladys saved the fare for a third-class passage on the Trans-Siberia Express, and set out for China trusting that God would show her the way. This biography was first published in 1957, and the edition I read had an epilogue, added in 1969. The book had by then been made into the popular movie Inn of the Sixth Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman. Gladys, herself, never saw the film and didn’t understand why anyone would be interested in her life. I’m just glad she agreed to tell her story.

  • Beverley Barrett
    2019-03-03 09:10

    I have an old copy of this book called The Small woman. It has been the most inspiring book I have ever read. Whenever I feel hard done by I re-read this book and I am rewarded with new courage. This is the story of a tiny framed , humble house maid who was inspired to save her meagre pennies to pay for a ticket from London to China because she was rejected by a Missionary school who said she was too stupid to learn the bible. Her epic journey walking across the Siberian wastelands in the middle of a Russian war to reach China is miraculous. All she had were a few pounds sewn into the hem of her dress and a primus with a pot. Her 30 years in the most remote part of China amongst people who initially spat at her for being a white 'Ghost' is compelling reading. There were very humourous events as well as some very tragic events. Her unfulfilled love for a Chinese General, her rape by Japanese soldiers, her adoption of throw away children and her tortuous walk with these children over a mountain to escape brutal Japanese forces is simply awesome. The movie does not even come close to telling her fantastical true story and courage. I heartily recommend everyone to read about this real heroine and her true story. Gladys Aylwood is her name and she is my heroine of life. I do not understand why so few people know of this tiny lady. Please read her story , you will be magnified and changed forever

  • Robin
    2019-03-13 11:11

    I'm so glad I had an excuse to read this book for a Winter Challenge here on GoodReads. I had watched the movie "Inn of the Sixth Happiness win Ingrid Bergman years and years ago and it was wonderful to be reunited with this truly remarkable woman.She is truly an inspiration - showing how persistence and not letting anything get in your way will get you your hearts desire. The story is a real-life telling of the life of Gladys Alyward. She works as a maid in London but is drawn to missionary work in China. She is dismissed as "unqualified" but through shear determination and indomitable courage she worked and saved to go there on her own and in 1930 she travels half way around the world to arrive at her hearts destination.Initially an "outsider" she gains acceptance by the people and the Mandrian where she settles and when war comes she leads an incredible march of over 100 orphans over mountains to safety. Everything about this story is remarkable: the book I just read, The movie I saw so many years ago and of course the incredible woman who inspired it all.

  • Pamela
    2019-03-10 10:29

    I'm so glad I didn't give up on this book! It's an amazing true story of Gladys Aylward who gave up her life to travel to China to be a missionary. And she did it alone, traveling dangerously by train through Siberia, without knowing the language and with very little money. Although the book was a little slow about halfway through (which was why I put it down for a few months & finally picked it back up again), there were several moments throughout the book that made it worth reading. I'm amazed at Gladys Aylward's courage. In war-torn China, she took charge in situations that I would have run from. She saved many lives and there were many miracles along the way. She strikes me as someone who would probably tell you that what she did wasn't extraordinary at all. I think there was a reason she was drawn to China. She was meant to be there, at that time, to help the people. She showed true strength and character.

  • Julie Davis
    2019-03-02 06:21

    After watching The Inn of the Sixth Happiness I wanted to read the book upon which it was based. As is so often the case, it was much better than the movie it begat.Gladys Aylward was a Cockney parlormaid when she felt God calling her to go to China. Undaunted when turned down as "unqualified" by the missionary society, she saved up the money on her meagre salary for the long train trip across Russia and Manchuria, which was very dangerous in its own right. Once in China, she finds her way to an obscure northern city and begins a remarkable "career" which, honestly, no one could ever have been considered qualified for. Through sheer determination, serving the poor, and following her sense of right, she becomes highly influential in the local community. When war with the Japanese threatens the area, she refuses to leave until it becomes clear that someone has to get 100 homeless orphans to a place of safety. And she is that someone.A remarkable true story which is inspirational, uplifting, and deserves to be known better.

  • Catherine Gillespie
    2019-03-15 08:32

    I read an older version of this book, titled "The Small Woman," since republished under a new name, and found it a compelling and utterly fascinating biography of Gladys Aylward. Aylward was a 26 year old parlormaid in England when she felt called to become a missionary to China. Told by a mission board that she didn’t know enough theology and was too old to learn Chinese properly, she saved up her own money, took a train overland to China through Russia, escaped a bad situation in Russia by boat to Japan, and finally wound up in a remote area, helping an elderly widow missionary in a town that hated foreigners. In spite of her total lack of official preparation, Aylward not only learned Chinese, but became a Chinese citizen and had an astounding and profound impact on the area of China where she served. {Read my full review here}

  • Truehobbit
    2019-03-21 09:16

    What an amazing person Gladys Aylward was - how come she's not better known, or is it just me? I must have bought this because I know the Ingrid Bergman movie "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness", but I'd forgotten all about it. It re-emerged with packing for moving house and I finally read it. I don't think I was aware then the story was based on fact. It is well and sympathetically written, but it is told in the style of a novel, which occasionally made me wonder about the author's sources of information. It must have been quite confusing in its first edition but luckily, my copy is a third edition and comes with two postscripts that update the story and give some insight into the creation of the book. It also has a collection of photos and two maps, which I much appreciated.

  • Xandri Fiori
    2019-02-22 12:34

    If you wanted something like Into the Wild, someone bravely trekking into unknown territory and trying to mean something to the people they meet, this is a bunch of B.S. It reads mainly like a hobbit woman lugged a suitcase full of Christian bigotry into inner China. If Chris was ever idealistic, brave, adventurous (if stupid), Gladys is simply clueless, arrogant,and annoyingly quaint. I mean, I do have respect for her, but I think a different author would have done her better justice instead of making her sound like a woman who thinks she can solve a war by scolding both sides and then settling them down for tea and scones.

  • Hannah Rose
    2019-03-04 13:31

    I will just say this is my favorite book! My dad gave it to me when I was 9 and it was the first time I ever remember being inspired to live all my life for God, knowing His love in a radical way, and living a life of adventure with God no matter where He would call. I even wrote my graduation speech on Gladys Aylward's life :) god used this humble, willing, fearless woman in mighty ways! I can't wait to talk with her in heaven one day

  • Jasmyn
    2019-03-20 14:06

    This is the true story of a lady missionary who goes to China and teaches herself Chinese. She's got a lot of grit, especially when China enters a war with Japan and she has to take care of the orphans in her care and transport them away from the war zone. The movie "Inn of the Sixth Happiness" came from this book--and the book was great.

  • Marjean
    2019-03-11 14:30

    Amazing life of Gladys Aylward, a missionary in China. She braved unspeakable hardships. Her commitment to teach the Chinese people about Christ was remarkable and shamed me.

  • Sharon Baker-johnson
    2019-02-22 09:34

    Gladys Aylward was an extraordinary English woman. From a background in service (Britain's term for live-in servants), she was committed to her call to be a missionary in China. After failing to complete the required preparation of the China Inland Mission, she worked to earn money for train passage to China through Russia at the age of 30 in 1932. With only a referral to an older missionary Jeannie Lawson in Yangcheng, she managed to eventually reach China, having escaped Russian detainment, with the help of a Japanese ship. The two women opened an inn for male travelers by mule in order to provide hospitality and opportunity to tell stories of Jesus. She was chosen to be a government foot inspector, traveling into mountainous rural areas to oversee the abolition of cultural foot binding. Every opportunity that came her way she took, to travel, learn the language, teach and preach, assist the local government Mandarin in quelling a violent prison riot and eventually provide intelligence about the Japanese martial invasion. Becoming a Chinese citizen in 1936, she truly became one with the her adopted people. They gave her a Chinese name that approximates "the Virtuous One." Long before the official outbreak of World War II she was living in a war zone of Japanese invasion. Living in caves in the mountains, she and others periodically left Yangsheng when it was bombed. She used her natural medicinal remedies to help the injured. Adopting 5 children, she also saved nearly 100 orphans when she single handedly trekked miles across mountains to take them to safety from the Japanese army. Due to severe physical damage as a result of that odyssey, she returned to England for medical help. The book ends here. In 1958 after being refused entry to China by the Communists, she settled in Taiwan, opened an orphanage and worked there until she died in 1970. She is buried there.The movie "The Inn of the Eight Happinesses" was based on this book. Unfortunately it is a romanticized portrayal; it doesn't begin to touch on the multiple ways she served the Chinese and the dangers of war, persecution, and starvation that she survived. Aylward is truly a Christian hero and a wonderful example of a missionary who lived immersed in the country of her choosing.

  • Edward
    2019-03-23 12:30

    Watched the 1958 film, Inn of the Sixth Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman, as Gladys Aylward, and Curt Jurgens, as Capt. Lin Nan. I wondered if there was a book that the film was adapted from, and lo and behold, there was! It is this book, The Small Woman by Alan Burgess, published in 1957.The film portrayed Aylward as an utterly fearless, faith-filled and dutiful Englishwoman (view spoiler)[who went to China as a missionary, ran an inn for muleteers, took in orphans, fell in love with a Chinese officer, and then led 100 orphan children across the mountains to safety from the invading Japanese forces (hide spoiler)]. After reading the book, I have to say it goes a lot more in depth on Gladys's story (as books tend to do). I was particularly impressed by the character's dauntless courage through everything. But the book humanizes her a lot more. She wasn't totally fearless. She had struggles, internal as well as external. Her faith in God helped her through a lot. But she was not without fear.Overall, an amazing story of perseverance and faith in the face of very difficult challenges. This is definitely on my Favorites shelf!

  • Annelise
    2019-03-21 10:27

    This book is so inspiring while also demonstrating what someone can do with the power of God.

  • Nan
    2019-02-21 07:33

    Every Christian should read this book!

  • MrsRK
    2019-03-02 11:24

    What a wonderful, inspiring story. This is not a young-person’s edition nor edited; it is the original book Alan Burgess wrote in 1957 (upon which the 1958 movie, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, was loosely based) with a “1969 Postscript,” to update readers on “what Gladys has done in the meantime.” A year afterwards she died. Burgess had met Gladys Aylward in 1949 and, according to him, she told him her story. Miss Aylward’s life was riveting and her succinct way of describing her odyssey was, it seems, her life-long habit of simplification: “I went to China Thirty-eight years ago in 1930, because I know God told me to […].” The Chinese called her “Ai-weh-deh,” the virtuous one. She knew not a word in Chinese and by the time she went back to England “she spoke, thought and dreamt in Shansi dialect.” Her faith was the kind that moved mountains, and on many an occasion reading her narrow escapes I had to admit that a miracle had been operated. This small woman went through valleys and mountains, on donkey back or foot, sometimes with no food, in a landscape swarmed by hostile Japanese and Chinese communist troupes, and survived to tell her incredible story. At the time “The Small Woman” was written, according to Burgess, “lots of schoolgirls did homework about what she had done with her life.” What has changed since then? This is a must-read for girls. They should not access the border-line pornography teachers—shame on them!—assign to them, the same trash with which librarians—shame on them!—load the shelves destined to their underage patrons. Both Burgess and Miss Aylward recognized the evils of communism, so it is a pity this book is not in the reading lists of schools.

  • Patty Demaria
    2019-02-28 12:15

    Very well written account of Gladys Aylward's missionary work in China preceding WWII, during the Japanese invasion. This book was the basis for the Ingrid Bergman film "Inn of the Sixth Happiness," but there is so much more in the book than the incidents the film uses!

  • Adrienne
    2019-03-06 08:18

    In the 1930s, Gladys Alyward was an English housemaid who felt compelled to go to China as a Christian missionary. However, when she tried to be placed as a missionary, she was told she wasn't educated enough and most likely wouldn't be able to learn the language. Rather than accepting defeat, she worked and saved her money until she could afford a train ticket to China and set out on dangerous journey, through warring countries to make it to China where she worked with an elderly missionary to establish the Inn of the Eighth Happiness. Over the next twenty years, Gladys worked tirelessly as a missionary and also become a foster and adoptive mother to many Chinese children, and, following the Japanese invasion of China, led nearly 100 children on a grueling journey through the mountains to safety.This book is an oldie but goodie. It was fascinating to see Gladys's determination be a missionary and some of the impressive work that she did, which ranged from calming a prison riot to working at the foot inspector in charge of making families unbind their daughters' feet. This is an inspiring account of a woman putting her faith into action as well as a great look at this era of history in rural China.

  • Diane
    2019-03-14 14:23

    This is considered a true story but it is not a biography or even a memoir. It is the story of a young British woman Grace Aylward who travels across Siberia to work as a missionary in northern China in the 1930s and 1940's. The author Alan Burgess was a seminary student and journalist and the only source material seems to have been his interview with Aylward. It is an amazing story and I am sure much of it is true. I was suspicious of the portrait of the Nationalist Forces during the war - in everything else I have read the Chinese army was hardly so admirable. I was also suspicious of the many times there was last minute religious salvation. Still worth reading.Of interest is the name of the book. Originally it was called The Small Woman. A movie was made from the book with Ingrid Bergman (and from the cover pix I suspect a great deal was made of the almost non-existent love story in the book) and the movie and US edition of the book was called The Inn of The Sixth Happiness. In the book, Aylward runs an Inn for time - it is called The Inn of Eighth Happinesses.

  • Martha A.Galvan
    2019-03-14 10:14

    I was at the Bountiful Library and I passed this book. THE SMALL WOMAN, a couple of times. It seemed the book was calling me.A very good choice.This book is about Gladys Ayward, who in 1930, left England to serve as a Christian missionary in China.Did she know Chinese? No. However she had a calling. In the 20 years there, she adopted 5 children, a couple she bought on the street. Some gypsy was selling them for "pennies".Ms Ayward was known as Ai-weh-deh, this means "the virtuous one".Besides working as a missionary, she became the foot inspector. Making sure woman were unbounding their feet, a Chinese practice to woman only. Woman were grateful that she was able to give them that freedom.Gladys stopped a 2 day prison riot, then began a prison work program. When the war of Japan and China started, hundreds were being killed. Gladys lead a group of 100 children out of their village to safety.This is a must read book, she is gone now, but she affected hundreds of lives. I am glad I picked up this book.

    2019-03-19 09:13

    I loved this amazing true story about an amazing woman, Gladys Aylford. Gladys worked as a parlormaid before deciding she wanted to be a missionary in China. She sought out a school/mission that prepared people for missionary work abroad and was rejected fairly quickly. Her academic skills were low and they were quite certain that she would be unable to learn Chinese. Gladys did not give up, instead she studied on her own and saved every penny until she eventually made contact with an other independent missionary in China and set out across the USSR on her own. And that's just the beginning! She not only became fluent in Chinese this amazing (doh, already used that word but she was purely amazing!) woman led approximately 100 children to safety through the mountains of China, on foot, with almost no resources except her faith and her will power. Did I say amazing?

  • Monté James
    2019-03-04 06:12

    I would rate this book three and a half stars, as I believe that that is the most honest rating I could give, but because it is impossible I'll generously throw in another half rather than remove one, because I found this book both moving, educational, and a bit exciting at times. Although it took me several months to get through, it is just less than two hundred pages, and only has seventeen chapters. Most persons could comfortably read it in a week, or perhaps two. One of the few things I didn't like was how the pace at times seemed too fast, and at other times far too slow. Some of the characters were a bit obnoxious to hear speak and act, but that is just me. Overall, there was a lot of inspiring content between the first and final page, and it is definitely one I would recommend to lovers of classics.

  • Richard
    2019-03-13 08:31

    A biography of Grace Aylward who went to China in 1930 to help bring Christianity to the people. She was barely 5 feet in stature but had a giant heart. Her Chinese name given to her by the Chinese people who surrounded her was Ai-weh-deh which translates to The Virtuous One. She earned the trust and love of all those around her. The last half of the book describes her escape and her helping 100 children orphans to escape when the Japanese invaded the Chinese mainland and killed everyone they encountered during the beginning of WWII. Grace endured great personal hardships to bring those children to safety. I would highly recommend this book. It is the story of a truly courageous woman. Now that I know her story, I dare not complain. This book is out of print and hard to find. Margaret brought me a copy from the Provo City Library when she came to visit.

  • Arlene Starr
    2019-03-08 14:23

    The Small Woman by Alan BurgessIt is a good book, her story is condensed and is fast reading. This is the true story of an extra-ordinary woman, Gladys Aylward, who dreamed of going to China as a missionary. She lacked the education and the organizational backing, but determined to reach her goal, traveled across Siberia and made her way to a remote mountain town in China where she joined forces for a time with another independent missionary. Her life is a series of dramatic events, such as, prison riot, rescue of a child from a child-dealer, conversion of a exalted Madarin, spy for the Nationalist China when war with Japan broke out. A fugitive without money or food, she led 100 homeless children across the wild mountains to safety. It's an inspiring and informative book.

  • Arlene Starr
    2019-03-13 07:13

    The Small Woman by Alan BurgessIt is a good book, her story is condensed and is fast reading. This is the true story of an extra-ordinary woman, Gladys Aylward, who dreamed of going to China as a missionary. She lacked the education and the organizational backing, but determined to reach her goal, traveled across Siberia and made her way to a remote mountain town in China where she joined forces for a time with another independent missionary. Her life is a series of dramatic events, such as, prison riot, rescue of a child from a child-dealer, conversion of a exalted Madarin, spy for the Nationalist China when war with Japan broke out. A fugitive without money or food, she led 100 homeless children across the wild mountains to safety. It's an inspiring and informative book.

  • Kalendra Dee
    2019-03-18 08:26

    As a London parlormaid, Gladys Aylward dreams of going to China as a missionary. Applying at the China Inland Mission, Gladys is told that she is not qualified to be a missionary in China. Undaunted, she manages to save up enough money to travel the dangerous overland route and, with the referral of a prominent former missionary, she finds herself in China as an assistant to a redoubtable woman named Jeannie Lawson. Thus begins her life’s work in China which will intersect with the Japanese invasion and a hazardous march across the mountains with a group of orphaned children. (original title: The Small Woman)

  • Megan
    2019-03-03 06:04

    To say the life of Gladys Aylward is interesting is an understatement. An unmarried woman with no connections and almost no money travels to China in the 1930s because she feels a calling. After a long (and at times harrowing) trip across Russian and through Japan she arrives in a rural mountain area where foreigners are thought to be "the devil". She begins her life helping an older Missionary start the Inn where they will spread the word of Jesus Christ through stories told during meals. Over the next several decades she will step in wherever needed to help and bring hope to countless people.

  • Barbara VA
    2019-02-26 12:20

    The story of Gladys Aylward, the Small Woman and her life as a missionary in the mountains of China during the 30's. She was a truly remarkable woman, she came to this life as a untrained missionary, she was not a doctor or even a nurse or a teacher, she came late to her faith, spoke no foreign language yet had a profound influence on her village and the north mountain area of her province. Her journey culminates in a march with 100 children through the war zones, up and over mountains to take the children to safety. Legendary.