While Ford's first book was all but perfect, I found this one rather disappointing. Several times I almost gave up. Yet there was enough authenticity about the sad story of William and his mother Liu Song to keep me going. I kept wondering if their lives was really that dire, but by the end Ford had convinced me. Liu Song's choices really were very constricted, and she tried very hard to make the best of her life, because her greatest love was for her son, whoever his father was. The large print edition I read had some good readers' group discussion questions, that would, I suspect, spark some interesting conversation. The one about issues of abandonment, so strong in the book, and asking the reader to come up with contemporary examples, especially struck me. So not a bad book, just more depressing than "Bitter and Sweet," with a lot more bitter than sweet in this one.
a great moving story
I enjoyed Jamie Ford's first book, The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and looked forward to reading this one, I was disappointed. I found it lacked the same authentic feeling of his first book.
Follows the son of a singer who gave him up to protect him. He and a female friend search for mother in Seattle, but imperils her in the finding.
So disappointing. Poorly written. Nothing like his first.
A Chinese boy William is left in a Seattle orphanage in the 1920s. In 1934, when he sees a poster advertising a variety show with a singer named Willow Frost, he believes it?s his mother. That begins his journey to discover who she is and why she left him.
Jamie Ford tells another wonderful story about families; what ties them together and tears them apart. It?s a cruel tale of what society thought morally right for young women bearing children out of wedlock. In the course of this one readers will also be immersed in 1930s Seattle?s Chinese community, Prohibition, the Great Depression and the changing world of the music and movie industry when radios came to people?s homes and movies became ?talkies.?
This tale is sadly so much like the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. While the story is moving it is almost formulaically tragic and sentimental. The story lacked an authenticity that his first book had. I read it but found that I could skip ahead without missing much ( never a good sign).
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet is one of my favorite books. This book is good, but I don't feel he wrote as well as he did with his first novel.
Loved his last book - Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. And loved this book too. Fantastic, writer.
Jamie Ford writes another winner, this time about a young Chinese American boy in an orphanage in the mid 1930's, who sets out to find the truth about who his mother is and why she left him. Ford makes us care about the characters and gives us some insight into Chinese customs and the Chinese American immigrant experience.
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