Cover Image: This Jade World

This Jade World

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Member Reviews

I gave it a good try. So many books out there that demanded my attention that this title lost out in the end. I read about a quarter of it but just couldn't proceed to the end without my other demands suffering for it. It may be a decent book, but it just wasn't for me.
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"This Jade World" provides readers with an intimate look at the grief and longing that follows Sukrungruang's divorce.  The honest memoir hones in on small details, like stopping to photograph flowers that he sends to his current wife, his fury over when he's fat, his lunch after his ex-wife (then current) picks him up at the airport after his travel to Thailand, where she emailed him the break up missive while he was staying with family on their wedding anniversary, and how they have remained close friends, his online dating that seems excessive and exhaustive, and his memories from his annual visits to Thailand.  For three years, he more or less ignored his elderly father, then finally reconnects with him on this last visit where much of the memoir takes place, hinting about their similarities, but never really delving into why he cut his father out because, from what we see in this encounter, is a father who is not only proud of his only son, but who cares deeply about his son, and one has to wonder when he gives him a fortune reading, if he makes it so hopeful regardless of what's in his stars to keep his son moving  forward with the woman he's currently dating.

I loved the sections with his aunt and mother, their lively conversations, the way they argue, the way they care for each other. To some degree, even though I'm glad he remarried and now has a son, I almost wish the memoir didn't include his new wife, but perhaps that would have complicated that relationship, or perhaps he wanted to write a memoir that showed his love for the women in his life, his mother, his aunt, his cousin, and two wives. 

The chapters are short, lyrical, humorous, and unexpected.
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This Jade World follows the author as he visits Thailand and his family a year after his divorce with his first wife, Katie. The chapters are short and polished, jumping from moment to moment, weaving the story of Ira through his life, with a focus especially on his mental state in the last year. 

We see the effect his body, through race and fatness, had on him growing up as a Thai boy in America, and we see how much the relationship and divorce of his own parents affected him. We also see his fight with the idea of love and how he tackles with the fact he's similar to his father. We meet a lot of his family, getting to know more of how Ira became Ira, and inadvertently, Thailand as the author himself sees it. 

I don't usually read biographies or memoirs, and I kept forgetting this isn't a work of fiction too. I enjoyed getting to know Ira's life through well crafted and poetic chapters, and seeing the catharsis the finally received.
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I really enjoyed "This Jade World." It was lyrical, lush, and highly relatable. I would recommend through RA, and will suggest a staff purchase for our public library system. Thank you.
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I wasn't able to get into this book. I lost interest half way through. I am not sure if it's because of the writing style. I was hoping to really enjoy this book based off the description I read.
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