Member Review

A River of Stars

Pub Date:

Review by

Erin K, Reviewer

Last updated on 05 Dec 2019

My Recommendation

I typically find immigrant stories to be very inspiring and informative. I don't know what it's like to be an immigrant, so it's always interesting to learn more about this type of experience. There is a great richness of details in Hua's book (everything from traditional Chinese cuisine to how Chinese mothers give birth in the US so that their babies will have American citizenship). However, despite the fascinating subject matter, this book felt like a bit of a slog. The very beginning and the end featured a fast-paced narrative, but the middle was just way too long without a lot of action. I really enjoyed a lot of the characters (especially Scarlett and Mama Fang), but I felt like the story would have been better served if the reader was able to go further with the side characters (instead of them getting a throw-away chapter or two). Just mentioning them briefly felt like an odd shift in perspective. The ending felt way too rushed to me as well. Everything was wrapped up nicely (but almost too nicely). I would have loved the middle section to be quicker so that we could spend more time figuring out how these characters ended up where they were at the end of the novel.

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