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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Announcing the 3rd Edition of this inspiring collection of historical fiction about 19 real-life girls who made a difference in their hometowns. Winner of the 2014 Gold Medal for Young Adult Fiction awarded by Children’s Literary Classics, among other awards.
What would you do if you heard a train crash through the trestle during a violent thunderstorm? How would you suggest to a presidential candidate that he change his appearance in order to be elected? If your family was under attack and surrounded, what would you do to save them? Could you refuse to help someone hoping to better themselves or would you help them?
These are just a few of the situations these girls found themselves in and rose to the occasion, saving the day in more ways than one. Through their bravery, their daring, and their sense of adventure, each used their skills, talents, and insights to meet the need before them.
If you’re a fan of the American Girl series or merely enjoy reading about heroic girls, you’ll love reading about these historic figures in American history.
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Now available on NetGalley! Thank you for reading and reviewing Hometown Heroines!