Profound. . . Told via an omniscient third-person perspective that alternates between Nainai’s past and Ah Mei’s present day, Cao delicately portrays atrocities alongside peaceful, idyllic life with aesthetic prose and nostalgic imagery, providing a tender look into one transnational family’s ancestry.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This atmospheric work translated from the Chinese renders the trials and tribulations befalling the family of Du Meixi. . . By turns sentimental and tragic, the plot juxtaposes quotidian details against factual historical background, including Japan’s 1937 invasion of China, in illustrating the family’s plight.
A worthwhile addition to historical fiction shelves.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
A novel that brims with tenderness. . . readers get a sense of history without a history lesson—the greater lesson being, perhaps, the vulnerability of individuals in a system that grants them neither dignity nor value.
—The Wall Street Journal