Impressions of The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho #historical #fiction #books #novels #fiction #amreading

The latest book I’ve read for my Historical Fiction Around the World series is The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho, an author from Malaysia and England. This book is on the shorter side, under 160 pages. It’s set in a pre-industrial mythical China but otherwise the time period is undefined. In fact, the story seems largely portable as related to time and place. No explanatory information is included, such as a glossary or maps.

The author has a light touch with storytelling in a good way. The tale is easy to grasp and the characters interesting if somewhat vaguely portrayed. I don’t feel like I know very much about any of them, including the main character. That said, Cho deftly painted the layers of the characterization so that I feel like I gradually knew everything I needed to know without weighing down the pace with unnecessary details and history. That’s an art unto itself!

The author wove together the historical aspects with mystical and religious themes as well as contemporary topics we all can recognize playing out around us today. I’m a fan of the mystical and the inexplicable nature of life and belief systems. Cho embodied them in her characters.

I enjoyed this quick read even though sometimes I personally was a bit confused as to what was happening. Chalk that up to my inexperience with the place and time and belief system described. But the characters and the plot are thought providing as well as entertaining.

Next up is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, a Korean author. However, I’m going to take a week off for a vacation with my husband, and be back with my thoughts on that story first thing in February.

Until then, Happy Reading!


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