Monday, March 8, 2010
Kathryn recommended this to me and having enjoyed Snowflower and the Secret Fan, I was anxious to read this. I wasn't disappointed by this one. I didn't want to put the book down and ended up reading until the wee hours of the morning several nights.
The book follows two sisters in Shanghai whose family loses everything. Their father arranges a marriage for each of them within the same family. While they went through with the marriages, they don't plan to go to America but it ends up being an escape from their father's settlement of his debt and to escape from the attacks from Japan. By the time they are reunited with their husbands and their family, they have added a daughter to the family. There are many chapters on the relationships within the family, jealousy, secrets, war, cultures and then some. Without giving away too much, I have to say the ending was a bit of a surprise as I didn't consider Sam's reaction an option. As a result, you are given May's impressions of how she was viewed and her jealousies. Each sister is a bit dramatic in their views but it is, after all, a book. A good read nevertheless.