Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wild Ginger

In Wild Ginger Anchee Min introduces us to two teenaged friends who grow up during China's Cultural Revolution. Many books expose readers to the brutality and betrayals that marked this age. Min adds to the usual expected experiences by focusing on Wild Ginger, whose grandfather was French and thus gave her light colored eyes, and her admiring friend Maple. Both are victims of the class bully, who has the power of the Red Guards behind her. Yet Wild Ginger whose mother's death forces her to scrounge to survive, gains power when she is honored for catching a thief. We soon see her transform into a Model Maoist.

The story reads fast and is detailed and accurate. Of course, when a handsome boy enters the picture romance ensues followed by sex and betrayal. The ending was a surprise, though I knew the story wouldn't end happily.

After reading a few books on this era, one gets saturated. If you have't read many, this is an easy, interesting read.

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