Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Review of Julie O' Yang's debut Novel


In 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese imperial Army captured the city of Nanking (Nanjing), the then capital of the Republic of China, and carried out a massacre in which hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians including women and children were slaughtered and thousands of women and girls were raped. This shameful episode from the history, known as Nanking Massacre or the Rape of Nanking, makes the backdrop of Julie O’ Yang’s debut novel Butterfly.

The eponymous protagonist of this heartachingly beautiful novel, Butterfly, is a married Chinese woman and calligrapher who has lost her teenage son in the Nanking Massacre. Years later, still trying to overcome her great loss, she happens to meet a mysterious young man almost of her dead son’s age and starts a torrid love affair with him. But, then she discovers a horrible secret about the young man and faces the biggest dilemma of her life.

The book is not just a love story with darker shades but also is a treatise on the futility and brutality of wars between nations and a critique on the idea of nation state. Historically insightful with political undertones, the novel has fully fleshed out multi-layered and credible characters. Written beautifully and structured intelligently, you get hooked to the story right from the first page. The denouement is also equally fascinating.
Highly recommended!

You can buy this book from HERE

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