Joan and Emma are sisters growing up in Hong Kong around the time of the Japanese invasion during WWII. Kum Ling, is a traditional Chinese mother hopes to make good matches for them. Lew Hing, their father, is a business man who spends most of his time before and after the war in Japan. Auntie Go is an unconventional woman who runs a knitting factory and has never married. The story mainly focuses on the two sisters and Auntie Go.
Like Tsukiyama's other books, the pace of the book is slow, although much happens. She has an excellent way of evoking the culture of Hong Kong during war time in Hong Kong. She also touches lightly on some of the culture shock of coming to live in America.
Tsukiyama creates strong female characters, who dont necessarily accept the roles society chooses for them, making choices that reflect their personalities and desires. The men in the book are very much secondary characters, without much development.
Although I think that the authors other books The Samurais Garden and Women of the Silk were deeper books than this, Night of Many Dreams was still a worthwhile read. . I would also recommend The Language of Threads, the sequel to Women of the Silk. All of these books are set in the time period of WWII and take place in both Japan and China. I have yet to read her latest book, Dreaming Water, which is on My TBR Mountain.
This was a wonderful read covering the lives of two Chinese sisters growing up post World War II era... I really loved the characters, in depth portrayals of their hopes and dreams, and weaving into and out of each others' lives. A wonderful read if you like to dip into other cultures, fall in love with the characters, and leave feeling a little more enlightened (although sad too...) Wonderful read I highly recommend this!
In a novel that focuses on the bonds between women and how the pull of individual destinies shapes their lives, Tsukiyama conveys the sights, sounds, and smells of a privileged Hong Kong as well as the hardships following the war. Sisters Emma (younger) and Joan (older) Lew grow up in Hong Kong with a mother determined to make a good marriage for Joan; their fiercely loyal yet enigmatic family cook, Foon; successful Auntie Go; and a mostly absent father. When World War II makes life in Hong Kong impossible, they move to Macao, where Emma finds a lifelong friend. Upon their return to Hong Kong, Auntie Go must rebuild her business; Emma feels more strongly than ever that she is meant to see the world; and Joan, not having found the love of her life, turns to acting in the Hong Kong film community. Emma departs for college in San Francisco, but she is never without the support of Auntie Go and Joan, who finds true fulfillment in her new life.
the author is one of my very favorites. this story has a wonderful feel to it. set in the turbulent years after WWII in China and in San Fransisco,the author once again makes her charachters so real you feel like you are there. a very good read
Once again I believe that Gail Tsukiyama is a superb writer!! She captivates you right from the start. Her writing is so vivid and alive. I strongly recommend her booksd. Hopefully she is in the process of writing more.