Saturday, May 10, 2008

Amy Tan's Saving Fish From Drowning

For March, my TBR Challenge book was Amy Tan's Saving Fish From Drowning. I love Amy Tan. She is such an excellent writer and story teller. If you like her but haven't read her book of essays, The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings, you really should go out and buy it right now.

Of course, there is a story about this particular book sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. This book is actually my aunt's book which she has lent to me (for like a year and a half). As an adult, it's been very special to connect with this particular aunt through our love of books. She has lent me some fantastic books, such as The Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears and The Blessing Stone by Barbara Wood. The latter was such a great book, I bought my own copy so I could re-read it and lend it to others. So for my aunt's 70th birthday, when my sister and brother asked what we should get her, I volunteered to go to the bookstore and pick out a bunch of books I thought she would like. She loved them and agreed to lend them to me after she had read them. This is one of those books. She has moved in with her son in Texas, so I don't see her much lately, but I still need to read this and give it back to her. Which is why it's my next book on the Challenge.

The book was really good. It was very different from Amy Tan's other works, but really well done. At first, I had a hard time following all the different characters and I was surprised that some of her normal themes were not in the book, but after I started getting into it I really enjoyed it.

The political commentary on Myanmar/Burma was well said, as was her look at how obnoxious tourists can be when visiting other countries. As much as the tourists she wrote about annoyed me, I still found myself rooting for them. That takes good writing, because usually if I don't really like any characters in the book, I don't get into what happens to them. In this book, I did. Although I did want to kick some of the characters in the butt and yell at them sometimes... Okay, frequently! But not enough to get frustrated and put down the book. Definitely a good read.

(Combined and edited from two posts originally on Cara Mama.)

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