Skip to main content

The Dancing Girl and the Turtle Book Review

     
    Title: The Dancing Girl and the Turtle
          Author: Karen Kao
          Synopsis: Song Anyi is on her way to Shanghai when she is gang raped by a group of Chinese soldiers and left for dead. She finally manages to get to her Aunt and Uncle who along with their son Song Cho nurse her back to health. It is China in 1937 and the world is unlike anything. Between the scars of being sexually abused and the ghosts of her past that she sees, Anyi soon turns to prostitution with a newfound obsession with pain. This story weaves in and out of different perspectives and characters to form a story that is both beautiful and tragic.
 Rating: 5/5 stars

My Thoughts:
          I was surprised by how great this novel was. When Linen Press asked me to read and review this book for their blog tour I was hesitant, but I accepted the offer and I am glad I did. The Dancing Girl and the Turtle is a book unlike any other I have read before. There are lots of grown-up topics in it so this is definitely not a book for children. In fact, as a 20-year old, I had some issues with certain parts. It definitely does not gloss over anything. Everything from the prostitution Anyi finds herself in, to the opium dens, and the war that is on the horizon for Japan and China is all highlighted in an almost poetic prose. Still, this novel was one that was incredibly easy to read through and it also taught me a lot about Chinese culture that I did not know about. You will both sympathize with and even hate the characters, sometimes at the same time, but there is no doubt that Karen Kao has created characters that will stick with you long after you turn the final page. Song Anyi gives you a main character that you feel sorry for more than anything. She has a certain strength about her, but at the same time, she is so weak and tired that you can't help but want to reach through the pages and help her. This story does not gloss over the mental scars that sexual abuse causes Anyi, but instead gives the reader a look into her eyes and mind as she suffers hallucinations, sees the ghosts of her parents, and feels the need to feel pain so she can feel like a human again. The most heartbreaking part of the novel though has to be the fact that she wants to feel pain because she thinks she deserves it. This novel is truly a tragedy that shows you the very delicate fibers of life.

      I hope that you enjoyed this book review!

Love,
Baleigh

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

13 Things to Expect From Jane Austen Month

In case I haven't been talking about it way too much, Jane Austen Month starts September 1st here at Baleigh's Better Life. The idea behind the month is to not only celebrate one of my favorite authors but also to give me the chance (*cough* motivation) to read some of the works I haven't gotten around to yet. We (I say we because I really want anyone who wants to participate in this to do so) will be reading, rereading, reviewing, comparing, discussing, and just be having lots of fun this coming month.
Day 1: Pride and Prejudice Vs. Emma- This blog post will be all about comparing my two favorite Austen works.
Day 2: Pride and Prejudice Revisited- This is all about getting to talk about what I think of Pride and Prejudice now (or after I reread it in a few days.).
Day 3: Northanger Abbey Book Review
Day 4: Sense and Sensibility Book Review
Day 5: Emma Revisited
Day 6: Mansfield Park Revisited


Day 7: Persuasion Book Review
Day 8: Jane Austen Movies Ranked- Wh…

Jane Austen's Heroes and Scoundrels Ranked

A few days ago I did my blog post over ranking Jane Austen's Heroines. I had a lot of fun picking and choosing which female characters would go where in the list. I have decided to do the same thing today, but with Austen's men. Now, like the blog post about her heroines, I will only be talking about the main love interests in the stories. Which means that there will be more characters listed here than in the one about heroines. Basically, if they were interested in the main character or the main character was interested in them (or if everyone thought they liked each other *cough* Frank Churchill *cough*)  they ended up on this list.

14. Mr. Willoughby:
       Breaking one of our main characters hearts? Check. Getting someone pregnant and then abandoning them? Check.  Going after a rich woman because he got disinherited for knocking up a girl? Check. Willoughby is one of those Austen characters that does a complete 180. At the beginning, you are thinking that he is a good cha…

Mansfield Park: Revisited

I have just finished rereading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen and I am glad to say that I am here to express my thoughts on the novel. I will not be giving a review, but will instead be jumping straight in!

1. Fanny Price:
      Fanny is the girl that I'd love to have as a friend, but that I'd hate to be compared to. I would not say that she is weak-minded or that she does not know her opinion, but there is just something about her that I can't quite understand. I can definitely relate to her the least out of all of the Austen Heroines I have been introduced to so far. Still the fact that she refuses to marry Henry Crawford and by the end of the novel seems to have more confidence in herself makes her a good heroine in my eyes.

2. Mrs. Norris:
        This woman is awful and I was so glad when she went with Maria to stay with her. She is rude and bully's Fanny all of the time.

3. Julia and Maria:
         These two sisters are the reason that Karma exists. They are not…