Monday, April 29

Book Review: Gold Mountain Blues

Title: Gold Mountain Blues

Author: Ling Zhang

Pages: 464

Summary: Gold Mountain Blues, a rich saga chronicling the lives of five generations of a Chinese family from Guandong Province transformed by the promise of a better life in Gold Mountain, the Chinese name for Canada’s majestic West Coast. In 1879, 16-year-old Fong Tak-Fat boards a ship to Canada determined to make a life for himself and support his family back home. He will blast rocks for the Pacific Railway, launder linens for his countrymen, and save every penny he makes to reunite his family—because his heart remains in China.

Spanning from the 1860s to the present day, Gold Mountain Blues relates the struggles and sacrifices of the labourers who built the Canadian Pacific Railway and who laid the groundwork for the evolution of the modern Chinese-Canadian identity.

My Rating: 5.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: There were times I did enjoy the book - the story was interesting, and the author did do a good job at showing the struggles of immigration and the effects on those who go and those who are left behind. Unfortunately, I found that because of all the different storylines, the generational aspects of the book never came together properly. In the end, it was a book that just missed the mark and it didn't exactly work out for me.

The characters were a bit of an issue throughout the book. There were a lot of them, over a large span of time and there wasn't one I could really connect to. Although the author did do a good job at connecting them all together, giving them a good solid storyline and their own place in the story as a whole, I found there was too much going on, and they all took away from each other's individual stories, and the impact it should have had on the reader.

While I did appreciate the long journey over a long stretch of time, it lacked fine tuning to create a solid story and one that would have kept my interest. I found there was a lot of emptiness to connect everything together, and it was easy to lose interest.

In end, there was a lot of elements that didn't work out in this book. While it had the potential to be an excellent read, it just fell short of that.

Would I recommend it to read: I think this one is one that's on the fence. It definitely wouldn't be very high on the list. But I do think there are some readers who would enjoy the book.

What to read next: Under This Unbroken Sky

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 777 Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI, EBook Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge

1 comment:

  1. AS Ia m interested in Chinese American writers and their history, this one appeals to me.