Friday, April 2, 2010
What a beautiful book this is! I requested it for Christmas because of the exquisite cover and also because I love stories about China or Japan. They have such an interesting culture that I find enchanting. In this story, two woman embark on troubled life journeys and have the determination and intelligence to avoid most of the harsh episodes they endure. Time and again they face sexist, racist, agist, jealous and cruel people who endeavour to make their lives a misery. There are many glimmers of happiness, though. And it is to find these that you race through the book.
Pai Kit Fai, an English author who married into a Hong Kong family and travelled extensively throughout Asia in his youth, has a poetic style of writing, quite similar to Robin Hobb, another of my favourite authors. They create magnificant villains, and strong-willed female protagonists, who are on a continual journey towards freedom. They take us to far away lands, often by ship, and, while not interested in the water or boats myself, I find reading about them very intriguing and exciting.
Simply, a masterpiece.
Update 9 May 2010: My Mum said this was her favourite book of all time. (She reads three or four novels each week.)