Sunday, February 5, 2017

Review: Night of Many Dreams by Gail Tsukiyama

Title: Night of Many Dreams
Author: Gail Tsukiyama
Year Published: 2015

Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 275
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2017 Google Reading map)Hong Kong and USA (CA)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book for myself

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): As World War II threatens their comfortable life in Hong Kong, young Joan and Emma Lew escape with their family to spend the war years in Macao. When they return home, Emma develops a deep interest in travel and sets her sights on an artistic life in San Francisco, while Joan turns to movies and thoughts of romance to escape the pressures of her real life. As the girls become women, each follows a path different from what her family expects. But through periods of great happiness and sorrow, the sisters learn that their complicated ties to each other--and to the other members of their close-knit family--are a source of strength as they pursue their separate dreams.

Review: Gail Tsukiyama. What can I say? I LOVE her books. On this blog I have reviewed The Language of A Thousand Threads, Women of the Silk, and one of my all-time favorite books is her Samurai's Garden.

I think I say this every time I review one of Tsukiyama's books, but I love the gentle writing. Even when there is conflict, I feel as if I am in a quiet place. The descriptions of the clothing, the city scenes, the characters' feelings; all are so vivid that I can picture them. And I was in Hong Kong many years ago, but can visualize the places that Emma and Joan visited.

This book really is about relationships: those of mother-daughter as well as sister-sister. And Auntie Go's relationship with her nieces who are like daughters to her. It's about women finding their way in the world, going against what is expected, while still trying to make their family and themselves happy. I do wish we saw more of Foon, the servant/cook. I think there is a book in her version of the story and her life since she is the care taker of the family, the one who sees it all and makes sure everyone is okay.

I was definitely caught up in the story of these two sisters and I enjoyed that chapters were told from both of their perspectives, as well as occasionally by Auntie Go. It gives the reader insight into various characters' feelings, actions, and reflections on events. If you want to read a book that is relationship-driven then I highly recommend this one.

Challenges for which this book qualifies:


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