I'm in Florida this Sunday caring for my ailing mom. She has a compression fracture and is in a great deal of pain.
I finished this book before leaving Maine. I had read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and loved it so thought I'd try this one of hers. It is well written but just doesn't have as interesting a story as her other one.
Peony is almost 16 and falls in love with with a guy she meets at her parents' showing of a play called The Peony Pavillion. Peony really identifies with the main character. No one realizes that she slips away and meets the love of her life...and death. Unfortunately, Peony is betrothed to another and will be marrying him once she turns 16. To avoid that she starves herself to death. The majority of the book tells of Peony's struggles to get into the afterworld.
The rites of the dead are very interesting but it was just so hard to care about a dead character!
This is the book I took with me to Florida and I gulped it! Usually, when I'm on a plane, I doze off but, not this time. I just kept turning the pages.
There are two main characters. Sarah lives in 1942 France during the round-up of thousands of Jewish children by the French under orders by the Germans. They ended up being gassed in a concentration camp. This is a part of French history they would rather forget. When the police come knocking on her door in the middle of the night, 10-year old Sarah doesn't realize that she'll never return. She locks her little brother in a secret hiding place and takes the key with her.
Fast-forward sixty years to 2002 France. Julia Jarmond is an American married to an arrogant, philandering jerk. They have an eleven-year-old daughter. Julia works for an American magazine and her boss gives her the assignment to write about the 60th anniversary of the round-up. Her investigation leads her to the realization that her husband's family's home had originally housed a Jewish family.
The more Julia learns about Sarah, the more she learns about herself. Their two stories alternate in short chapters that I just couldn't stop reading!
We have a retirement home in Florida so I'm staying there overnight but visiting with my mom during the day. So, it's time to get on the road.