Book review stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for Peach Blossom Spring, a historical novel written by M. Fu.
First thing first, let me thank Anne and the publisher, Headline, for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Much obliged *hat tip*
MEET THE BOOK
It is 1938 in China and, as a young wife, Meilin’s future is bright. But with the Japanese army approaching, Meilin and her four year old son, Renshu, are forced to flee their home. Relying on little but their wits and a beautifully illustrated hand scroll, filled with ancient fables that offer solace and wisdom, they must travel through a ravaged country, seeking refuge.
Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. Though his daughter is desperate to understand her heritage, he refuses to talk about his childhood. How can he keep his family safe in this new land when the weight of his history threatens to drag them down? Yet how can Lily learn who she is if she can never know her family’s story?
Spanning continents and generations, Peach Blossom Spring is a bold and moving look at the history of modern China, told through the story of one family. It’s about the power of our past, the hope for a better future, and the haunting question: What would it mean to finally be home?
Publication date: 15/03/22
READ MY REVIEW
Cover: The blue one is lovely. Not that taken by the pink one.
Another debut, another brilliant writer who blew me away and instilled some peaceful moments in a—frankly—hectic week. I haven’t been able to do anything at all, too busy dealing with a looming deadline and other obligations; Fu’s novel has been a quiet port in the storm.
Let me be as clear as possible here: Fu’s stronger point is her style. It’s beautiful, with a unique pacing and a rhythm that amazed me from start to finish. It’s lyrical, almost poetic, and yet precise. I mean, I can’t believe Peach Blossom Spring is her first novel: Fu proves to be a top-notch wordsmith already, achieving quality levels other authors can only dream of—yeah, even the more experienced ones.
The story itself is complex and intricate, but it still reads as realistic as possible. Again, thanks to Fu’s writing style, the slow cadence enhances the plot rather than hindering it. MC-wise, kudos to the characterization of Meilin: her voice comes to life from the get-go, and I prefer hers to Renshu’s. More poignant? Maybe so.
Of course, Peach Blossom Spring features a big cast of characters, which is maybe its weaker trait; while I loved Meilin and Renshu, as I said, I had a bit of a hard time keeping track with everyone else, especially at the beginning. It sort of smoothers down along the way, though.
From a technical standpoint, I can only cheer in the general direction of Fu’s editors. No mistakes, no overwhelming descriptions, no unnecessary info. Thumbs up, everyone.
4,5 stars on GR.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Melissa Fu grew up in Northern New Mexico and has lived in Texas, Colorado, New York, Ohio and Washington. She now lives near Cambridge, UK, with her husband and children.
With academic backgrounds in physics and English, she has worked in education as a teacher, curriculum developer, and consultant. She was the 2018/19 David TK Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia.
Peach Blossom Spring is her first novel.
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