Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Book "Transoceanic Lights" by Sui Li

About the Book: This debut novel by S. Li, is about three hopeful families who immigrate to the US from post-Mao China. The novel was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2012 Leapfrog Fiction Contest, Finalist in the 2013 Asheville Award, and Finalist in the 2013 Willow Books Literature Award, which culminated in a live reading at an awards ceremony at Chicago State University.

About the Author: S. Li was born in Guangzhou, China in 1984 and moved to the US in 1989. He graduated with an A.B. in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard in 2006 and an M.D. from the University of Massachusetts in 2010. He lives in Boston with his wife and their Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

My Review: Writing is an art and this author is an artist. Mr. Li demonstrates a lot of talent on his debut novel, Transoceanic Lights. This novel is written with such sensibility, that at the end you will be deeply touched by the characters and the overall story.

The plot is simple. A group of three related families leaves China to come to America in hope of living a better life. The common relative is an older brother that came previously to USA and succeeded opening a restaurant, and now wants to bring his three brothers (and their families) to work for him at his restaurant. When visiting them in China, he covers them with gifts and nurture their illusion that USA is the country of opportunities, solution to all problems, and they will make a lot of money in America.

The story is narrated mostly by the son of one of the families, as well as by his mother. It goes over all their struggles. Family competition, untruthful relations between husband and wife, hate, love, friendship, solitude, the pain of leaving relatives back in China, family hierarchy, all different aspects of this adventure are covered in this wonderful novel by this young author. The characters are well developed and the emotions are so intensely described that we live the book! We want to strangulate the bullying cousin, we want to help the mother and we despise the sister in law that is nothing more than a lazy and jealous person. This book definitely has all the right ingredients to become an instant best seller!

I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers that appreciate a very well written book that will keep them entertained for hours.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment.

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