至此终年/只要我们在一起 Together Forever – 墨宝非宝 (HE)

forever

This is a teacher-student novel, but is not limited to it.

What if you met a teacher who was once a surgeon? When you were thirteen years old, both his and your mother were being rescued in the same hospital. However, six to seven years later, he can no longer hear any sound and unable to work in the surgery theatre anymore. Holding a book, he has become an ordinary university lecturer.

What if he is the same as you – abandoned by his mother, and a father who he can’t talk about?

What if he lost his health because he tried to save the nation?

What if, he loves you?

Can you bear not to love him?

 

“To have Ping Sheng in your life, life has no regrets.”

[Ebook] [Audiobook] [Trọn đời bên nhau][Radiodrama till 2][English Translation]

 

26 Responses

  1. Banh Bao
    Banh Bao March 25, 2014 at 10:12 am |

    It is such a great book 😉 And here come the Viet Ebook http://nguyenla.wordpress.com/co-nhau-tron-doi-muc-luc/

  2. Peanuts
    Peanuts March 25, 2014 at 11:11 am |

    Thank you to cloud&sea for translating the synopsis.

    Thank you to Banh Bao for your great contribution. How great is this book? Phong, my Viet friend kept on recommending me this novel but I am reluctant to read bcos I am allergic to teacher & student love:( She said this author is good and is a firm favourite with the Viets. She is also writing the script for Silent Separation drama with Gu Man so I want to give one of her books a try since I like Gu Man.

  3. Banh Bao
    Banh Bao March 25, 2014 at 1:15 pm |

    Actually,I didnt tranlate the synopsis 😀 It was my roomate who read this book by mistake ( She thought it was Silent Separation since they have the same name).She recommended this for me a couple days ago.I ve read the first chapter an It kinda grown on me anyway 😀
    It is great to see your favorite book be adopted to drama.SS and Bu Fu Ru Lai Bu Fu Qīng are in the making.Im so excited with BFRLBFQ but i dont know what it will be like since Time Traveling is banned in China =,=

  4. hoju
    hoju April 20, 2014 at 6:33 am |

    This novel has captured my mind at the moment. I can’t stop thinking about it. So, like Silent Separation, I had to come here to jot down my thoughts.

    This novel uses the teacher-student relationship as a jumping board to start the story, but it is so much more than that. In fact, the “uneven status” between the two lasts only about 1/3 of the novel and, while it does come up occasionally to throw in curve balls in their relationship, is not a prominent focus of the plot. I am not a fan of teacher-student love stories, but I love this story.

    SPOILER WARNING, although I’ll try to mark the locations of the spoilers so you can skip them if you want.

    Gu Pingsheng: The author has created such a “perfect” male lead — the type I cannot resist. Warm, caring, extremely intelligent, considerate, completely respects the woman he loves and her decisions, even if it causes him pain. But besides his outward perfectness, what draws you to this man is that he and his life are not perfect. His background as the child of an extramarital affair, his continually declining health, his hidden low self-worth, the tormenting guilt he feels (mini SPOILER) over indirectly causing his mother’s death. You cannot help but feel for him. Gu Pingsheng has risen rapidly to tie, and possibly even take over, for my favourite male lead in c-novel (which included the likes of He Suye from Loving You, Mu Yan from Hua Xu Yin, He Yichen from Silent Separation).

    Tong Yan: You are introduced to her as a naive, typical university student. She is not my usual favourite clueless, bumbling type, but rather pretty, kind, fun, and average in achievements but with her own set of talents. You appreciate her views and effort that she puts into love — how learning new recipes and seeing Pingsheng enjoying a meal she cooked brings such joy, how she faces the reality of Pingsheng’s health and chooses to support him in all that she can.

    The novel is first and foremost and love story. The first 1/4 or so of the story is actually very light, introducing their relationship (like a typical boy-meets-girl; boy and girl start falling for each other, etc) while lightly brushing over that they actually knew each other from 6 years earlier and dropping hints that there was something emotionally painful the night of that encounter. Their love, itself, is actually very sweet and heartwarming. Their little interactions (texting, first date, etc) are very cute.

    But as the story progresses, it’s like layers are peeled off and we gradually learn more about each of them. [some SPOILERS] Gu Pingsheng is a SARS survivor, but the side effects of the treatment are his current deafness and progressively failing health. Tong Yan comes from a broken family. Her relationship with her mother is non-existent; her father is addicted to gambling the stock market and comes back only to ask for money to pay off debts. Gu Pingsheng’s argument with his mother indirectly caused her suicide and the guilt he feels from this forever changed his life. Etc. Etc [
    [\END SPOILERS]

    Life has thrown a good share of unfairness at the both of them. The author does not use many words to describe their emotional turmoil, though (especially Gu Pingsheng). Often, it’s an almost nonchalant one-liner description of the situation or a small minute gesture that gives away the pain. As a reader, I would read it almost just as nonchalantly as it was written, but then, upon second thought, realize the significance of what was written… The author slowly releases more and more background about each of them, and each time, my heart would ache a little bit more. And that heartache just seemed to build until I realized how emotionally invested I was in their lives.

    However, it’s not emotionally “heavy.” Throughout the story, the love remains very pure, sweet, and beautiful. It’s like a warm ray of light that shines upon two people who deserve to have something good happen to them (for once, darn it!).
    So at the end of the novel, when [SPOILER] Tong Yan makes the painful decision to break up with Gu Pingsheng (her father comes back once again to ask for money and she sees that this will become a vicious cycle: Gu Pingsheng will need to work himself to death, literally, because of his poor health just to pay off her father’s debts), it’s like that beautiful light is snuffed out. I was completely shocked over it; it felt almost suffocating. My heart was aching for them: Tong Yan, for actually doing it and making up the excuse that she cannot handle the pressure of a relationship with someone with such health issues; Gu Pingsheng, for accepting and respecting her decision despite knowing that it was merely an excuse. [END SPOILER]

    Thankfully, this novel has a HAPPY ENDING!

    Or should I say, a bittersweet ending. Somehow, while I was reading about their happy [SPOILER] wedding day [/END SPOILER] and smiling contentedly, that dull ache still would not leave. Perhaps it was because I was regretting for them those several lost years when they were apart, despite the fact they both are still deeply in love, or perhaps it was because I knew that they were facing a future of hospital trips and surgeries. But, at least they were facing that future together…

    This novel is not perfect. Despite the teacher-student interactions that were cute, the start of their dating relationship, especially Gu Pingsheng’s feelings for her, felt a little abrupt. I think it’s because the author spent very little time describing his feelings. Also, the end of their relationship comes almost from left field, too. And then, very quickly, over a handful of pages, several years have passed by and they get back together. And then, the end! (Well, at least of the novel proper; there are some epilogues.) Objectively, I think more time should have been spent on building up the breakup and describing the separation, but secretly, I’m glad she didn’t because I, personally, don’t think I could have handled the angst.

    I’m shaken up (in a good way), by this story. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not an explicitly emotionally charged novel. In fact, quite the contrary. What I like, though, is the author often makes simple, casual statements that don’t appear all that significant on the surface but you keep coming back to mull over what was written. And as you do, you feel for Gu Pingsheng and Tang Yan.

    Gosh, someone read this and come chat with me about it!

    OMG, I just wrote a novel myself in that loooooong comment. Sorry! And it’s Tong Yan. *face palm*

  5. cloudandsea
    cloudandsea April 22, 2014 at 12:12 am |

    Hi hoju, glad you like this novel as much as I do!! Normally I don’t really like student-teacher relationship but this novel nailed it.

    Gu Pingsheng is caring and the subtle actions he does shows how much he love the people around him, that including Tong Yan.

    Their interaction makes me swoon so much, especially when Tong Yan has to look at him to read his mouth. OH MAN, that’s hawttt and cuteeeee. 😀

    His experiences made him into the person he is today. He had his struggles too before he decided to get together with Tong Yan. He stopped giving her private tuition but thank god they got together in the end. 🙂

    This story doesn’t have much twist and turn, is a bit long… but it is NOT draggy. The author somehow makes their interaction very interesting and engaging. I checked out other stories that she wrote and I realised that it is her writing style – subtle and sweet. Like what you said, there are many actions that holds a lot of meaning in it! <3

  6. chancy426
    chancy426 April 22, 2014 at 2:57 am |

    I’m hording books like peanuts now. This one is in my list.

    Big thanks to hoju’s review/spoilers. I won’t give this book a try unless it’s a happy ending, so it’s a green light for this one. Does he ever get his hearing back?

  7. Peanuts
    Peanuts April 22, 2014 at 3:25 am |

    I never hoard books, chancy doesn’t know me well, lol. I gonna start the audio book 2 night so that I can chat with hoju, lol. It better be a good one bcos I’ve extreme allegy to teacher/student r/s novels!!!! This author wrote abt teacher/student, traid & entertainment industry, 3 subject matters which I am not fond of:(

  8. hoju
    hoju April 22, 2014 at 5:27 pm |

    cloudandsea:

    Their interaction makes me swoon so much, especially when Tong Yan has to look at him to read his mouth. OH MAN, that’s hawttt and cuteeeee. <img src="http://www.books.shushengbar.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif&quot; alt=":D" class="wp-smiley"

    The bed scene! Tong Yan even notes she finally found one bad thing about being forced to look at him when speaking to him because it should have been a look-away-shyly-and-speak-softly moment when she offered to, ahem, “take the lead.”

    It is so sweet how he and Tong Yan behave as a married couple completely, despite being unable to get a marriage license (she left the documents needed at school and was unable to retrieve them at the time they went to register their marriage) and be officially married. He tells everyone he is married, he introduces her to everyone as his wife. But I didn’t realize it wasn’t just a simple matter of his principle that he believed that sex is reserved for marriage. It was because he understood the pain of being a child born out of wedlock, and he didn’t want that to happen again.

    @chancy: Yes, he gets his hearing back, but only at the very end. It mentions in the novel that he chose to keep his world silent and not wear a hearing aid (leave the reason for you to find out when you read).

    @peanuts: YES!! Come chat with me! I do not like teacher-student love stories at all, but like cloudandsea said, this one nailed it for me.

  9. Pm
    Pm April 23, 2014 at 4:06 pm |

    Oky…I’m just done with it…isit just me or do u feel that this book is a bit rushed and “unfinished” in a way?
    I feel the ending is too abrupt and the story line left unfinished….like how did they agree to get back…..how did he accept her explanation etc…..

    But it is a sweet love story….but I dun really agree with tong yans way of thinking….I felt she shd have discussed with gu ping Shen….considering they have discussed all other stuff like his health, his mom….in a way she’s kinda selfish…didn’t she think it would have hurt him greatly and cause him physical harm?

    But there are the very sweet and touching moments…..their life together, how they lived as tho they were married…..

  10. hoju
    hoju April 23, 2014 at 6:07 pm |

    Pm,

    Will reply in detail tonight. Yes, the ending is abrupt. My biggest complaint, in fact. Did you read the published ending? The online novel ended right at their telephone conversation. That’s the ending I read when I wrote my first long post earlier. The hard copy novel added some more… They actually have a face to face meeting right after. Nothing was explicitly explained, but it did feel like a bit more closure.

    “I need you back.”
    “I never left.”

    Anyways, I’ll be back to post more thoughts in regards to your other points.

  11. Pm
    Pm April 24, 2014 at 2:31 am |

    Nope….how do you get the hard copy ending? I only read online….is it a lot longer?

  12. hoju
    hoju April 24, 2014 at 4:24 am |

    Not a lot longer. The ending still feels rushed but better than the online ending. Definitely feel more closure.

    This site has the hard copy version.
    http://bbs.trends.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=964818&page=4

    I believe the audiobook used the hard copy as well. Peanuts, can you confirm? It will have those two English lines that I quoted in my previous post.

  13. hoju
    hoju April 24, 2014 at 5:11 am |

    Pm:
    I feel the ending is too abrupt and the story line left unfinished….like how did they agree to get back…..how did he accept her explanation etc…..

    But it is a sweet love story….but I dun really agree with tong yans way of thinking….I felt she shd have discussed with gu ping Shen….considering they have discussed all other stuff like his health, his mom….in a way she’s kinda selfish…didn’t she think it would have hurt him greatly and cause him physical harm?

    How did he accept her explanation:
    Even in the hard copy ending, Tong Yan never explains why and he never asks for the reason. She is in a bit of disbelief that he would forgive her, but he had known the reason all along. Remember in one of the epilogues, when he was talking to Gu Pingfan, she asked what did Tong Yan tell him when she broke up with him. His answer: it didn’t matter because whatever she said wasn’t the truth anyway. The author doesn’t give us insight into his emotional state but did say that he chose to keep quiet because he knew that Tong Yan did not want anyone to know about her parents and how disappointing they were. Pingfan told him that if he had questioned it more, Tong Yan would not have been so firm about it, but Gu Pingsheng’s response was, “If Tong Yan was your sister and I was not related to you, would you tell her to stay with someone whose health will never recover?” He could guess the reason, but he didn’t push the issue because he felt guilt over placing his health burdens on her.

    Tong Yan’s decision; should they have talked more? Do they really talk?
    Tong Yan once said, the biggest fault of both her and Gu Pingsheng is that they “report the good and not the troubles.” This was true, even between the two of them. When he was in the US for his surgery, he didn’t want her to worry so he would send her misleading emails that he was out checking out the sites, but in reality, he was lying on a hospital bed (remember Pingfan’s video that she sent over?). At the same time, while he was away, Tong Yan never told Pingsheng that she left school, returned to Beijing to take care of her grandmother, who was undergoing chemotherapy, had to shoulder the responsibility of finding finances for them medical treatment, etc. She, too, would send misleading emails and talk about weather or homework, etc.

    While Pingsheng never lied about his mother and never refused to answer any questions, He never really gave Tong Yan much information either. Most of what she knew about his mom and the guilt he felt over her death was pieced together from her own memories of their first encounter, tidbits he mentioned casually (e.g. he chose not to wear a hearing aid), and her conversation with Pingfan.

    Tong Yan’s character flaw is that she does not have the courage to face her situations; she will run from them. She even noted that about herself. And that one about reporting only the good. She chose to ignore the problem of her father, she chose not to tell Pingsheng about her dad until the situation kind of got out of hand. Her decision to break up with Pingsheng was within character, whether we agree with it or not. She was not able to give up on her father completely, and she knew it. She knew she would give in to him and give him money. She could not place this burden on Pingsheng. I can understand her reasoning behind this. I somehow can’t fault her for that line of logic, despite knowing that Pingsheng would willingly take on that burden with her. Would you want to see the man you love work himself to death for your gambling addict father’s debts? I agree, she should have told him the reason, but she probably knew that if she told him, Pingsheng would tell her he didn’t care.

    As for Tong Yan being selfish, it was eating away at her that, she was being selfish because she knew that she had a unhealthy family background and yet still was choosing to drag him into it, even with his progressively declining health. But remember where that thought came from? It was because Gu Pingsheng said to her that he felt guilty that, despite having such ill health, he was being selfish by still being with her and placing that burden on her. She had followed his line of logic and then come up with that thought. *sigh* if Tong Yan is selfish for choosing to break up with Gu Pingsheng because she doesn’t want her family situation to worsen his health, is Gu Pingsheng also being selfish for going along with it because he doesn’t want to burden her down with a husband she will have to care for and worry about for the rest of her life?

    I can’t fault either of them. Maybe I would do it differently, but the author set it up to us as the readers throughout the whole novel and every response they gave was well within character… But it’s because I couldn’t fault either of them that made it so heartwrenching for me…

    Just a side note, Tong Yan’s character was actually based on a real life person. The author noted that, yes, she understood that readers would get upset over her decision and probably want her to cut off ties with her father and fight for her love. But, the “real Tong Yan” never could break of that familial tie, and like the novel, it took a death in the family to shake her father up and break him out of the vicious cycle.

    Alright, I wrote another looooooong post. I’ll just go talk to myself now. :p

  14. Peanuts
    Peanuts April 24, 2014 at 5:39 am |

    Hey Hoju, do you’ve a blog? If not, are you interested to write for my blog but no money one, lol? This is because you really love to write and is rather good at it. I am sorry but you’ve to depend on pm to discuss this novel with you bcos I am still in chapter 3 of the audio book bcos I kept on falling asleep:( The comments are very good & the audio book is also quite well done with music etc. Yet, I can’t really get into the story. I suspect maybe the readers’ voices are a tad too matured for my ears:( Whenever I listen I think of an uncle as a teacher lol.

    I am not sure but I think the audio book should be complete with the text ending. Both of you should go & listen to the last chapter bcos I think they did an interview with the author and she may give you the explainations you’ve been seeking.

  15. hoju
    hoju April 24, 2014 at 6:12 am |

    Lol! I guess I’m rather loquacious when it comes to this novel. Sorry!

    No blog for me. I’m not very good at writing, so I’m not sure if you really want me. My hours are rather random, too, and I can’t do much on a regular basis. Send me an email and we can talk more.

  16. Pm
    Pm April 24, 2014 at 7:50 am |

    Wow hoju!!!! Excellent write up….and yes I agree with peanuts..u have excellent writing skills….

    Oky….I recall the parts u were saying……
    So basically these two lovebirds broke up coz they didn’t want to burden each other…..weird logic…but I can understand……in a way it’s really sad…..unfortunately there are many parents out there who do this to their children…and the children suffer the most…

    I recall the part that she had to go return money to her dad’s colleague,,,,and the guys nephew happens to be his student…..awww…..I really felt for her…she must have been so embarrassed, hurt and upset. Imagine how she must have thought about dragging Ping Shen into the mud with her….his reputation as a lecturer might have been compromised…esp she had to deal with rumors in her own uni….she would have known how vicious rumors can be…..now I can understand better why she chose this path of breakup……

    Anyways….ping sheng never agreed to it rite? He just said to give him time to think about it…..did he finally agree? Coz I dun recall..I only know about the alimony agreement…I guess it’s his way of providing her with money as backup?

    But what’s with her ex bf and the fang yun yun character? He never loved her and was forced to marry her I guess…so does tong yan still love him? I guess in another kinda way rite….

    But I’m glad they got back to each other…:)

  17. hoju
    hoju April 25, 2014 at 5:37 am |

    Pingsheng never said yes to the breakup. However, he never ended up going back to China to live after that business trip (until the end of the novel), so that was his way of agreeing to it. The most heartbreaking scene to me is when he made the trip back for her graduation, hoping to personally say congratulations to her, but ended up only texting. “I was hoping to congratulate you but found out it would be more difficult for me than I thought. Congratulations, Student Tong Yan. — Gu Pingsheng.” No more addressing her as Mrs. Gu or his familiar sign off, “TK.” Aaaaah! My heart is twinging just thinking about this scene.

    My complaint about Silent Separation is that there are so many situations and plot devices used to create angst that it feels contrived. I liked that in this novel, the conflict that arises feels more “real life.” Lu Bei, the ex-boyfriend, and Fang Yunyun, his wife, are the most “TVB drama” part of this story, however. Lu Bei and Tong Yan were high school sweethearts who were very much in love. Lu Bei, the rebel, accidentally killed someone in a motor vehicle incident. fang Yunyun, who was in love with him, used her higher up connections to get Lu Bei off the hook, with the caveat that he marry her. Tong Yan actually helped persuade Lu Bei to accept the engagement.

    The end of that relationship is a painful memory to Tong Yan, as you feel by the multiple times snippets of their past pop up. However, I believe that she no longer loved him like she had, especially when she fell in love with Gu Pingsheng. Even Lu Bei said that she now spoke about Gu Pingsheng like how she used to speak about him to other people. “He is good, very good, in fact. He treats me very well.” A very simple statement, regardless of what negative things are said about the relationship. Tong Yan says, though, that she will always tell Lu Bei the truth, no matter what he asks her because he has always treated her very well; it was not his fault. So yes, he is special to her, but I don’t believe it is love.

  18. hoju
    hoju April 25, 2014 at 5:55 am |

    Anyone able to help me out? How long were Gu Pingsheng and Tong Yan apart from each other? My understanding is that 3 years is the answer, posters on tieba have many different answers (someone is absolutely confident it is 8 years). I could be wrong because, to be honest, despite being on my 3rd read of the novel (and I only started this novel last weekend!), I could only make myself skim the separation years once…

    But I thought:
    The breakup happened in the spring.
    From the epilogue, TY’s grandmother’s cancer came back the winter of the same year they broke up, and she passed away in the spring or so. ~ 1 year apart
    The end of the novel takes place in June, and I believe it says that her grandmother had passed away 2 years prior. ~ another 2 years apart
    Also, it mentions that Ai Mi (her uni friend) had become a very popular DJ on another station in 3 short years.

    If it really is 8 years apart and Tong Yan is nearly 30 years old before they get back together, that makes me even more sad…

  19. Pm
    Pm April 28, 2014 at 5:07 am |

    I dun think its so long…coz I thot it was concurrent….as in the time it took for her fren occurred during that same period……. Most I figured was 3-4 yrs max

  20. hoju
    hoju July 20, 2014 at 4:50 am |

    MBFB’s newest novel, 一厘米的阳光 One Centimetre of Sunshine just posted it’s last online chapter today (revisions and epilogues for published copy will still be coming). Gu Pingsheng makes a guest appearance in this novel. 🙂

  21. wisteria9bloom2
    wisteria9bloom2 January 5, 2015 at 2:50 pm |

    I just finished ‘至此终年’, it’s a touching story but ends rather abruptly. Wish 二宝will write a 翻外of their marriage thou.

    Anyone have read ‘轻易靠近’? Is story better than ‘轻易放火‘?

  22. bee88
    bee88 June 9, 2015 at 7:44 pm |

    This was such a cute story! The school parts were pretty funny. I really enjoyed the audiobook and found the voices suitable for the characters, and the background songs were good as well. Am glad it was a HE 🙂 I enjoyed this more than Mo Bao Fei Bao’s newest book One Centimeter of Sunlight – as that was more bittersweet. I like how this author creates male characters with flaws but heroic – SARS doctor (Gu Ping Sheng) and war reporter/POW (Ji Cheng Yang)…

  23. Together Forever (至此终年) — Introduction and Prologue | Fanatical

    […] give you a longer description on this novel. My spoiler-riddled thoughts are all over its page on SSB, so if you don’t mind being spoiled, you can head over there for more […]

  24. Pm
    Pm November 6, 2015 at 10:14 am |

    Just re read this book again….and I’m sad again….somehow still feel sad over their separation. I wonder if in real life…did the female lead get back together and have a happy life with her man?

    The epilogue wasn’t much of a closure…sighz……somehow this book leaves me hanging midair again…but it’s still a lovely sad read despite the happy ending.

    2nd time reading…I think they separated maybe the most 2 3 years….according to epilogues….think it was mentioned somewhere that in the 2 years they were separated….not sure if it’s the initial 2 years or in total tho.

  25. hoju
    hoju November 6, 2015 at 10:31 pm |

    Since I’m translating, I’m re-reading again, too. I still don’t call it sad, with the exception of the separation, but somehow, my heart feels like someone’s pricking it with needles every time I read it.

    Tong Yan was based on a real life person, but Gu Pingsheng was not. The romance part was fictional, but Tong Yan’s family issues were based on something in real life.

    I’m pretty darn sure the separation was 3 years. I have no idea why it was such a debated question, but I’m standing by that answer.

  26. Pm
    Pm November 7, 2015 at 4:12 am |

    Awww hoju…..i hope real life tong yan managed to have a good life… I can imagine what she has had to endure……

    Somehow this particular book and twentines the untold story has managed to evoke a sad feel….lasting after the book is done……maybe these 2 books are written in such a “humane lifelike” sorta situation….that one can better relate to each individual……other books are more fluffy in that there is a minute possibility of meeting a handsome CEO and having a Cinderella life….whereas these 2 books have very life like characters with all it’s flaws and human traits…..

    But yes…..my heart is sad…. :'(. At least separation wasn’t too long and they at least got together in the end……tho they wasted such precious time…….

    Thanks for translating into English….. So many others can read it 🙂

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