This review is part of a MotherTalk blog tour, and I received this book from the publisher to review.
February Flowers, by Fan Wu is a beautiful novel of women, China, and has a new twist on the classic coming of age novel. Most coming of age novels I read are set in the US, Great Britain, or Australia. The book gives you a peek into the cultural differences between the US and China, and it’s fascinating.
The story starts in Guangzhou province, which I had heard of because I have had a couple friends who adopted their daughters from that province. Fan Wu mentions this as her main character talks about the province – the five star hotels are used by Americans coming to adopt, but many of the people live in ramshackle homes. The dorm rooms for the college are also in rough shape – rats, no doors on the toilets, and overpopulated. Chen Ming has moved back to the city after her divorce, and finds herself thinking of her college friend as she sees places and things from her college days. When she goes to the Alumni office to get her transcript (needed to apply for a job in the US), she meets someone else who knew her friend Miao Yan, saying she heard Yan had moved to the US. This part of the story sets the frame for the inner story where Ming remembers her relationship as a 17 year old with 24 year old Yan.
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