Paperback: 385 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Chinese History
Publisher: Wildfire 2023
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentences: Tell us, they say, tell us where you're from. He is from walking and walking and walking.
Favourite Quote: “To tell a story is to plant a seed and let it grow.”
'Peach Blossom Spring' although fictional, the author's father was born in China, went to Taiwan as a youth and later to America. One day in the late nineties he told his family some of the stories that he had kept to himself for many years. Nearly twenty years later Melissa Fu took the notes she had taken that day and spun this remarkable story from them.
Three generations of a Chinese family on a quest to find a home where they can feel safe. Spanning nearly seventy years, commencing with the Japanese conflict with China which started in 1937 and lasted until the end of WWII in 1945. Life was all about constantly fleeing from the Japanese advance for Meilin and her young son, Renshu. The author gives us a scary and vivid picture of life as a refugee during this time. Despite eventually building a new life there was always the constant fear of the Chinese regime.
In conclusion this novel is a touching semi autobiographical and personal narrative that the author was motivated to write based on her father's memories. Recommended to readers of historical fiction and or an interest in Chinese culture.
Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:
A "beautifully rendered" novel about war, migration, and the power of telling our stories, Peach Blossom Spring follows three generations of a Chinese family on their search for a place to call home (Georgia Hunter, New York Times bestselling author).
"Within every misfortune there is a blessing and within every blessing, the seeds of misfortune, and so it goes, until the end of time."
It is 1938 in China and, as a young wife, Meilin’s future is bright. But with the Japanese army approaching, Meilin and her four year old son, Renshu, are forced to flee their home. Relying on little but their wits and a beautifully illustrated hand scroll, filled with ancient fables that offer solace and wisdom, they must travel through a ravaged country, seeking refuge.
Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. Though his daughter is desperate to understand her heritage, he refuses to talk about his childhood. How can he keep his family safe in this new land when the weight of his history threatens to drag them down? Yet how can Lily learn who she is if she can never know her family’s story?
Spanning continents and generations, Peach Blossom Spring is a bold and moving look at the history of modern China, told through the story of one family. It’s about the power of our past, the hope for a better future, and the haunting question: What would it mean to finally be home?
Author Profile and Photo From Amazon:
Melissa Fu grew up in Northern New Mexico and has lived in Texas, Colorado, New York, Ohio and Washington. She now lives near Cambridge, UK, with her husband and children. With academic backgrounds in physics and English, she has worked in education as a teacher, curriculum developer, and consultant. She was the 2018/19 David TK Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia. Peach Blossom Spring is her first novel.
Photograph and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites: