“This is about a family that is divided. One sister spends most of her life in Taiwan and the other spends most of her life on the mainland. It’s a very personal story. It’s a memoir and family history, driven by the author’s interest in figuring out the things that the family didn’t talk about. There’s a bit of the historian-as-detective in this book, as she tries to work out what was going on when her aunts were young…The women in the story are special and they’re not just passive agents. But there is a high degree of luck, which is something that also figures in this. The author herself, in some ways, was lucky. She benefited from having a relative who could help her get connected to the outside world, even though at an earlier point, you would have said, ‘How unfortunate to have a family whose members were disconnected that way.’ That captures something important about China and the China story.” Read more...
The Best China Books of 2022