Friday, November 30

Book Review: Feathered Serpent

Title: Feathered Serpent

Author: Xu Xiaobin

Pages: 367

Summary: Critically acclaimed author an political satirist Xu Xiaobin masterfully weaves the stunning and heartbreaking story of a girl named Yu through the lives of her grandmother, mother, sisters, and nieces. Born to a resentful mother and an indifferent father, Yu discovers at a tender age that her parents do not love her. By the time her baby brother is born, the rebellious and withdrawn six-year-old commits an unthinkable crime. Forced to leave her family, Yu begins a lifelong quest for love. She is fragile but resilient, lonely but determined. Yet each time she thinks she has come close, she is abandoned. Now, as she is caught up in the political storm of the 1980's, Yu's last chance at getting what she desires will finally come at a tragic cost. Hailed by critics as a Chinese One Hundred Years of Solitude and a twenty-first century Crime and Punishment, Feathered Serpent flawlessly blurs reality and illusion into a unique and powerful tale that readers will never forget.

My Rating: 7/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: There was a lot of lovely passages, filled with metaphors that initially pulled me into the book, but there was also a lot of passages that took me back and I questioned if that was what the author had originally intended. This book had some great potential, but I think it was lost in the translation of the book, as the story just didn't come together like it should have, the prose didn't connect like it should have, at times it flowed, others it seemed choppy and didn't fit connect to the rest of the book.

The story fascinated me, but the jumping timeline, points of view and narrative was a big distraction for me. There was so much potential in this, and although by the end of the book I did enjoy the story, Yu's was extremely well done, I found to much of the story was lost because of the how it was written. I'm not a hundred percent sure if it's how the author originally intended, or if it was also lost in the translation.

In the end I did enjoy the book, but it's not what I expected to get out of the book once I finished reading it, and again I think it was because of how it was translated.

Would I recommend it to read: I had a lot of issues, and while the book did turn out to be good, so I still think it's worth checking out. But just be warned that this book seems to be a case were a lot of the story and beauty seemed to have been lost in the translation.

What to read next: Miss Chopsticks, 100 Years of Solitude

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