Friday, December 9, 2016

Beginning ~ with a too-large nose

Night of Many Dreams ~ by Gail Tsukiyama, 1998, fiction (Hong Kong)
All the other women in the Lew family were beautiful.  Emma saw it time and time again, in the striking faces of her mother and sister, in the old yellow-edged photos of her ancestors.  The difference that set her apart from Mah-mee and her older sister, Joan, haunted Emma.  It wasn't that she was ugly, but in photos of herself, even as a baby, she saw a too-large nose, a too-round face, that made her feel awkward and conspicuous.  She sometimes wondered what kind of fate had caused generations of Lew beauty to be withheld from her.
This book was donated today to the Crown Center's small library.  I found it while sorting through those we could keep and those to box up for the book sale.  This one is actually too old, having been published 18 years ago, but I haven't read it.  So I brought it home to read before passing it along.  Gail Tsukiyama is an excellent writer, and I especially enjoyed reading Samurai's Garden (1996).  Here's a summary of the story:
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.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.


Helen's Book Blog said...

This is a Gail Tsukiyama that I haven't heard of yet; I am so excited! I recently got her book The Secret of a Thousand Blossoms, but I will add this one to my Christmas list! Thank you

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I hadn't heard of it either, and I see that I forgot to add a summary of the book. If you want to read it, come back to read my edited post.