“Within every misfortune there is a blessing, and within every blessing, the seeds of misfortune. And so it goes, until the end of time.”
It is 1938 in China, and the Japanese are advancing. A young mother, Meilin, is forced to flee her burning city with her four-year-old son, Renshu, and embark on an epic journey across China. For comfort, they turn to their most treasured possession – a beautifully illustrated hand scroll. Its ancient fables offer solace and wisdom as they travel through their ravaged country, seeking refuge.
Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. His daughter is desperate to understand her heritage, but he refuses to talk about his childhood. How can he keep his family safe in this new land when the weight of his history threatens to drag them down?
I can’t remember when I last read historical fiction as beautiful as Peach Blossom Spring. I confess the key factor in applying for this ARC was the title and cover (more on that later). Even so, it was no indication of how utterly absorbing this novel was going to be.
Meilin’s struggles begin during the Sino-Japanese War and carry through the Chinese Civil War. As they travel through China, to Taiwan, they leave the war behind for a better life.
The book spans nearly 70 years starting from Meilin’s journey for survival, to Renshu leaving the place he has come to know, for a country on the other side of the world. But fear continues to reside in his heart forcing him to deny Lily, his daughter, the answers she seeks.
Melissa Fu’s evocative and powerful writing brings this achingly beautiful, multigenerational saga to life. The perseverance of the human spirit shines in all three protagonists, be it Meilin, Renshu or Lily. Moving forward, yet bound by their connected history, their trials and triumphs become your own.
Alongside their story, the book traces the history of China. Reminded of the past, and looking forward to a better future while searching for a place to call home, it weaves a rich tapestry of culture and wisdom. Words jump off the page and you’re so completely taken by the powerful emotions; you feel the tugs and cracks in your own heart.
Exquisite and mesmerising, this gorgeous debut only leaves you breathless for more.
Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu. Due to be published on 17th March 2022 by Wildfire, an imprint of Headline Publishing Group. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Headline Books.
Book 11 of 2022.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟.
Available on Amazon*.
*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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