I did not care for this book at all. The writing is all over the place with changing tenses and time jumping chapters and characters. This could have been told in a better fashion as the concept is interesting. A fairly major thread in the story fizzles and it just feels incomplete. Attempts at flowery, oddly phased descriptions made me ask “huh?” several times in my notes. #litsyAtoZ challenge @BookishMarginalia
Great book - and very timely with news of ICE raids this week. This was a really heavy and emotional book, but so good.
Peilan pregnant at 17 left China for a better life in New York. She disappears leaving her small son orphaned. I couldn't ever imagine what it would feel like being in Peilan's shoes nor son Deming's which made this story so interesting and special for me.
It was that kind of mindfuck: to be too visible and invisible at the same time, in the ways it mattered the most.
One week later, tucked into a double bed sheathed with red flannel, Deming Guo awoke with the crumbs of dialect on his tongue, smudges and smears of dissolving syllables, nouns and verbs washed out to sea. One language had outseeped another...He‘d bled English vowels and watched his mother‘s face fall.
One of my three TBR books from Book Riot‘s subscription. I really liked the story of Deming/Daniel and his mother Polly although at times the plot felt stalled (maybe it was supposed to evoke Deming‘s feeling of never belonging or abandonment). I happened to have this on audio while also reading Nicole Chung‘s upcoming memoir about being adopted - while the circumstances are different, Chung‘s memoir and Deming‘s story had eerie parallels.
This book came highly recommended by many friends. It is well worth reading as it focuses on the immigration experience and the tearing of families apart. It also speaks to the adoption of transracial children and how they might feel growing up neither identifying with their adoptive parent‘s home cultural nor their ethnic culture. Extremely well written with characters deeply flawed in a realistic way, I still had trouble caring about them.
Ripped-from-the-headlines relevance, as I open up today‘s paper to discover 450 migrants deported without their kids. This is a heart-wrenching story with a somewhat happy ending. Emphasis is on the resilience of both parent and child. Both are on a quest to find not only each other, but ultimately themselves in this border-crossing story. The raw intimacy of the writing keeps this from feeling like the sweeping epic it might otherwise have been.
This summer I have read 7 books with a similar theme of the immigrant surviving in a new world. This is one of the top 2! I enjoyed Ko‘s authorial style as she switched between narrators layering the meaning with each new chapter. I loved this novel because I had to, wanted to, NEEDED to keep reading to learn what would happen to Deming and his mother Peilan. Each chapter unfolded a bit more of the puzzle and didn‘t “leave” me wanting. 4.5/5 ⭐️
Time for some chips and salsa! What are you snacking on this #24in48 weekend?
Hmm now I need a cold beer to complement that!
I loved this book. Move it to the top of your TBR pile. Has so many timely themes such as identity, adoption, immigration, mother-child bonds, and culture. Moving this to my book club for September.
My heart broke so many times during this emotional novel about an 11-year-old boy who struggles to makes sense of his Chinese heritage while attempting to fit into a mostly white community. After Deming Guo says goodbye to his mother one morning in his Bronx apartment, he is shattered when she does not return. His search for her uncovers shocking circumstances that relate all too closely to our world today.
This has been sitting on my shelf waiting for me but the timing was so relevant. A story about immigration that will make you think, maybe understand a bit more. So timely in the midst of families continuing to be separated. Rich characters and great storytelling. If this is on your TBR, I highly recommend moving it up. One of my favorites this year.
May was a weird month. I don't even remember the last time I read more books by men than by women, or when I so completely focused on library books that I all but ignored La TBR.
I'm disappointed there were no real new-to-me standouts, too. I'm having an awesome time with my ongoing Yotsuba&! and WicDiv rereads, but nothing I picked up for the first time climbed above 4 stars. I sure hope that changes in June.
Work travel is allowing me to catch up on my reading. This morning I woke up and had EIGHT unfinished books I‘ve been juggling. I‘m hoping to cut that down to 3 by the end of the weekend.
ANYWAY, this was one of those novels where I disliked all the characters, but liked the book. Complicated family dynamics, the right to self determination, and the concept of Home were some major themes. 4/5 ✨