Monday, August 12, 2013

The Woman who Lost China by Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang

But routine brought acceptance of her fate

Why I read this book?

I got this book with the LybraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review. I asked for the book since I really loved books settled in places I've never been to visit them in my mind (for now)

What's the book about?

The book tells us the story Wen Manying, a woman born in the early 1890's right before the first Sino-Japanese War in continental China. Through her life, she will be witness of War, Revolution and Exile while not only she but the China she loved changes.

What about the main character?

Manying is the younger of 2 kids, with an elder brother. She is very sweet bordering with submissive, but I believe that given the dates when the book is settled is also part of how a woman "was supposed to be". She is someone that puts others before her often, especially when it involves her family. I have to say, it didn't read to me as a strong character, but mostly, as I said, as a witness that tells us what she saw but never really took action of her own will.

Final thoughts

This book had a very beautiful premise...but sadly for me it didn't deliver. The story has a lack of flow between the different stages of her life and, albeit normal for telling someone's life, there are a lot of time jumps that for me felt very abrupt, with no transition some times. The dialogs in general lacked something; somehow the dialogs seemed unnatural, fake.  I've read other books set in a similar time period and the dialogs didn't felt this way. On the other hand I certainly like the cover and the timeline and list of main characters at the end. I was doing a genealogy tree myself since the lives became a bit intricate, but I wish I would've noticed before this was already there to help me put. I also have to say, without giving away any spoilers, I did not see the end twist coming. 

Riches never last more than three generations

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