13 October 2009
A Leaf in the Bitter Wind
I read this one on Julie's recommendation and thought it was pretty good. There have been other books I've read about the Cultural Revolution that I thought were better though. It did make me realize again that I don't really want to read more books about the Cultural Revolution from the point of view of urban, usually more upper-class individuals (although it's because they're urban and a little better off that they had the opportunity to write their memoir of the decade). I'd like to read some books from the perspective of the rural families who had people sent to their villages to be re-educated, and to read about the effect of the Cultural Revolution on the lives of the minorities, and outside the most densely-populated areas of China. I suppose I should start looking.
I was bothered by the author's decision at the end of the book to go to Canada. I felt like she was trying to justify her choice by saying it would be for the good of her daughter. There weren't very many times throughout the book that I felt that her daughter's interests her most important concern, even though she clearly loves her daughter very much. This is not to justify her first husband's actions in any way, but I think she went to Canada for Bill and herself, not for Qi-meng.