Where and What: I finished this last night and was pretty satisfied with the ending after a long journey with the young orphan Jialing trying to find her place during upheavals in China - the end of the Qing dynasty, the presidency of Sun Yat-Sen in a new republic, the warlord era, and the rise of the Nationalists.
Themes include the harsh treatment of Eurasian children during those times and the plight of orphans. Jialing is rescued by Miss Morris, the headmistress of a missionary school, who pays Jialing's patrons to educate her at the school.
Themes of Chinese beliefs include the fox spirit who acts as a guardian and protector of Jialing during her young years.
Recommendation: Combine an intriguing story with history and romance, a story with twists and turns that is never predictable or boring, excellent writing, and you have a winner in this atmospheric historical novel. I gave it five stars on goodreads.
A new book that I plan to read soon:
Windy City Blues by Renee Rosen, February 28, 2017, Berkley.
About: one woman's journey of self-discovery set against the backdrop of a musical and social revolution.
When: the middle of the twentieth century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago.
What: Chess Records helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues
Who: Leeba Groski comes into her own as a songwriter and befriends performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. But she also finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree.
Conflict: segregated society, family conflicts, Civil Rights Movement
Two used books I bought yesterday:
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, September 1, 2004Themes: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations.
Mean Streak by Sandra Brown, August 19, 2014.
Theme: Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina, captured by a known violent man. Her husband Jeff reports her missing, as fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness.
Eager to read both books!
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