Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu just came out on the 17th of March, and was published by Headline, Wildfire! Today, I’m reviewing the book as part of the book tour hosted by Random Things Tours! But I’m sure those of you who follow me on bookstagram will have seen my review yesterday!
‘We can forgive without understanding. Sometimes we must. Maybe that’s what forgiveness is – accepting someone’s actions, even if there are no good explanations.’
Book Review for Peach Blossom Spring
I’m always astounded when I’m on tour for a book that shouldn’t need any promotion. This is the sort of book I’d buy for my grandmother (she DNFs things like crazy).
Peach Blossom Spring spans three generations as they’re impacted by war and need to constantly move. The book revolves around loss, but also hope, because no matter what you decide, “it will be both a blessing and a curse”. We have Meilin who takes her son and travels all over China, eventually settling in Taiwan to raise her son Renshu. Renshu wins a scholarship to the US, where he settles down as Henry and raises his daughter Lily.
It’s jarring sometimes, to think of how Meilins life started out and where she had to go, and how she had to do it. You know the dangers that surround her, but Melissa Fu, relied more on us knowing rather than needing to spell everything out which worked really well. While the bulk of the book focuses on Meilin and Henry, the rest that shows how Henry settles in America feels more rushed than the rest; which is good because that is how life happens at some point everything is a fight and then things settle. You also see Henry/Renshu’s paranoia kick in when it comes to Lily trying to learn more about her heritage; he’s just so scared after what happened in the war and in the early years of his moving to the states. Eventually, he too learns how to plant an orchard (not just a literal one), but by giving Lily the stories that he heard and the journeys he had to make.
With 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?
Spanning continents and generations, Peach Blossom Spring is a bold and moving look at the history of modern China, told through the story of one family. It’s about the power of our past, the hope for a better future, and the search for a place to call home.
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