Little Gods

Meng Jin. Custom House, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-293595-3
Jin’s stunning debut follows 17-year-old Liya on her journey to China with the ashes of her recently deceased mother, a mysterious and mercurial woman whom Liya both loved and resented. Su Lan, her mother, was a former physicist from China who died in America, where she had lived and worked for nearly two decades. Intertwined with Liya’s grief-stricken quest is the voice of Zhu Wen, Su Lan’s former neighbor in Shanghai, whose memory of Su Lan as a beautiful, charismatic, and fiercely brilliant physics student in a happy marriage to a handsome doctor does not square with the woman Liya knows. The third narrative strand belongs to Yongzong, Su Lan’s husband and Liya’s father, who has long lost touch with Su Lan and has never known Liya. Liya arrives in China with only her mother’s last known address, in Shanghai, where Su Lan had once lived with Yongzong. On first meeting Zhu Wen there, Liya realizes just how little she knew about her mother. Liya then visits the small mountain village where her mother was raised, and goes to Beijing, where she finds out what happened during the night of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, when she was born and Su Lan began to transform from a promising young student to a living ghost. Artfully composed and emotionally searing, Jin’s debut about lost girls, bottomless ambition, and the myriad ways family members can hurt and betray one another is gripping from beginning to end. This is a beautiful, intensely moving debut. Agent: Jin Auh, the Wylie Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/18/2019
Release date: 01/14/2020
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-0941-0635-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-0941-0636-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-06-293596-0
Library Binding - 415 pages - 978-1-4328-7876-4
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-293597-7
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