My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Oh, wow. WOW did I not enjoy this book. Like. At all.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and ask, why? Why for the love of Pete is this book considered a classic? Ok, I get that the concept of a white woman giving voice to a Chinese man in the 1930s is fairly ground breaking. And maybe there are a handful of people out there who thought all women were treated nicely by their male counterparts in China (Spoiler: They Aren’t). But apart from those two possibilities, I see no reason for this book to be included in any kind of must-read list of literary classics.
For those of you looking for a truly depressing story and plan on reading it, allow me to offer a few pointers. First, just approach it knowing that the story is not uplifting. And by not uplifting I mean astoundingly amazingly unbelievably depressing. If you read along hoping for somebody in the end to leap out and give every nasty person their comeuppance, you will be disappointed. There may even be some scratching of the head and furrowing of the brows. Secondly, be advised that if you read this book before you go to bed and then wonder as to why you are inexplicably livid with your boyfriend/spouse/partner the next day, it is probably the book (especially when you get to the part with the pearls…oh, don’t even get me started). As a strong, independent woman, you will want to hunt the fictional male character down and hurt him. Hurt him bad.
I hate to say “Don’t read this book.” Instead, I’ll just say, “Approach at your own risk, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.”