alchemist511 (alchemist511) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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#2 - The Night of Many Dreams by Gail Tsukiyama

This was another book by a favourite author of mine, and it was up to her usual standards.

The Night of Many Dreams follows the lives of sisters Joan and Emma Lew, daughters of a Chinese family living in Hong Kong during and after World War 2. Through the eyes of the girls and their family, we see the effects of the war, the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, and the aftermath as they return after fleeing to Macao. Once they have recovered and life has returned more or less to normal, Mah-mee, the girls' mother, starts pushing for Joan, the eldest and prettiest of her daughters, to get married. After a series of bad relationships, Joan decides to become an actress. Meanwhile, Emma decides to go to school in San Francisco and ends up studying art. Throughout the next ten years or so of Joan and Emma's lives, their lives keep them physically apart, but they retain their close family ties through letters. Following some sad occurrences, the sisters are eventually reunited.

Like most of her other books that I have read, this book gives a good deal of insight into the Chinese way of life in the mid twentieth century, especially from the feminine point of view. Her characters are strong, the descriptions are detailed without being long winded, and the story moves at a natural pace.
Tags: asian lit, period fiction (20th century)

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