23 hours ago
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Jade Peony: A Story to Treasure
Last night I stayed up well beyond the Olympic evening coverage to finish the last pages of Wayson Choy's The Jade Peony, one of the 2010 Canada Reads Selections and my sixth read for the Canadian Book Challenge. I really enjoyed this book. The mixture of historical references of Chinese immigrants living in Vancouver during the first world world war and the intimate stories of 3 young Chinese-Canadians as they grew up in the Chinatown district was a most enjoyable and wonderful read. The author guides us through the story of a multi-generational Chinese family through the eyes of the 3 youngest children - Liang, Jung and Sek-Lung. After I finished the first section on Liang, I was disappointed it had ended, almost frustrated at this. I wanted to learn more of what happened to this young girl and felt that I couldn't possibly enjoy section 2 which was narrated by Jung. But then I got wrapped up in his story and was once again drawn in. The same was true for the last section, the longest of all 3, narrated by Sek-Lung, affectionally (or not) known as Sekky. I was suprised to read the reviews which said it was a story about nothing but that the small details of the characters were enough to make the story enjoyable. I found the opposite. I felt there was so much story in each of the narratives. Many characters and many nuiances which were engaging and captivating. I was very excited when I read on the jacket that there is a sequel already written. I can't wait to get this one.