Molly Patterson. Harper, $26.99 (560p) ISBN 978-0-06-257404-6
Three strong women and their acts of rebellion in disparate circumstances are intriguingly connected in this vividly rendered, impressive debut. Addie, an American missionary in China in the latter part of the 19th century, leaves her husband and children and the confines of a restrictive enclave to venture into the more remote parts of the country with a widowed missionary with whom she has become enamored. Addie’s niece, Hazel, whom we first meet as a feisty senior in 1999, driving the car that her adult children took the keys from, has had a tough life since she became the widowed mother of two children in the 1950s. She asserts her independence by maintaining ownership of her farm and unexpectedly develops an illicit relationship with her neighbor’s husband, while maintaining a connection to the man’s wife. Juanlan, a 1998 college graduate with no job prospects, returns to the small Chinese town where she was born to help with the family-owned hotel. She ends up having an affair with a married, politically connected older man whom her brother introduces her to with the hope that he will give their parents official permission to open up their hotel to foreigners. We see each woman interacting with family and friends, navigating the diverse challenges she faces, achieving a hard-won sense of self worth. Most remarkable is the subtle way Patterson ties all three lives together. Agent: Ellen Levine and Alexa Stark, Trident Media Group. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/19/2017
Release date: 08/08/2017
Genre: Fiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-268360-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1917-5
Ebook - 560 pages - 978-0-06-257407-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1916-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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