Jan 24 The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy

While I think that Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford does a much better job of telling the story of Chinese and Japanese immigrants to North America during WWII, the animosity between the two groups and the animosity they both suffered at the hands of the Canadians and Americans, I still enjoyed The Jade Peony.

Wayson Choy does a fabulous job of describing what life was like in Vancouver for Chinese immigrants, first of all. He also does an amazing job explaining what the family structure was for many Chinese. I also enjoyed the way that myth and superstition was woven into the lives of the characters in a very real way. The love story in The Jade Peony was not that well developed and the novel may have been more emotive if it had been. Regardless I think that the war years and the US and Canadian relationship with the Japanese and Chinese immigrants is not well enough explored in literature in general, and so I found this novel to be educational and fascinating, if not as well written and moving as Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

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