Friday, December 13

Book Review: Beautiful Days

Title: Beautiful Days

Author: Teng Xiaolan

Pages: 224

Summary: Discover the beauty of everyday life in this two-story collection from China. The first, A Riot of Brilliant Purple and Tender Crimson, examines the disparate love lives of a father and his daughter. Echoing the lyrics in the Kun Opera The Peony Pavilion, this is a brilliantly executed story.

Beautiful Days, the title story, is a deceptively simple story of an old woman trying to pick a daughter-in-law for her son, and the difficulties of the task. The novel, focusing on daily subjects, reflects how extraordinary things can be seen in ordinary people and the motions of their lives.

Contents:
- Beautiful Days
- A Riot of Brilliant Purple and Tender Crimson

My Rating: 7/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed Beautiful Days a lot, I found it to be a fairly complex and interesting story. The characters were well written and developed as well as the overall plot. I think the author did a great job at telling a very complete and interesting story in half the time - although it would have been wonderful f this were a full novel, I think this one also worked extremely well as a novella, and I enjoyed the ending lot.

A Riot of Brilliant Purple and Tender Crimson unfortunately did not work for me. The novella felt muddled and confusing. The plot and characters didn't link together or connect to the story well and overall it didn't read well. I'm not sure if it was due to it being a translated book or not, but the entire novella felt off. Beautiful Days read fine, but this one just felt off. Overall it was a good read, but not the best I've read. I think it would have enjoyed the book far more if I only read Beautiful Days.

Would I recommend it to read: I would recommend to read the one novella, Beautiful Days, but I'm unsure about the entire book, as the second novella just didn't work.

What to read next: More contemporary Chinese Literature

Challenges: Alphabet Challenge

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