Sunday, December 12, 2010

REVIEW: Wild Ginger by Anchee Min

book cover of Wild Ginger by Anchee Min
Title:  Wild Ginger
Author:  Anchee Min
Publish Date:  January 2002
Genre:  Non-Western Literature, Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction
Page Count:  240 pages

     Taking place at the height of the cultural revolution in Maoist China in the 1960's/70's, this novel follows two youths, Wild Ginger and Maple.  Wild Ginger is determined to become a Maoist, despite the fact that her mother has been called a French spy, because her father was a Frenchman.  Maple and Wild Ginger quickly find solace in each others company, both being shunned by the other children.

     As the two children grow older, Wild Ginger becomes a national hero after exposing some criminals in a local market.  But soon, she comes to her ultimate test as she falls in love with Evergreen but can not give in to her desires because of her desire to be a Maoist.  In the meantime, Maple and Evergreen are both suddenly doubting the entire revolution and everything that they were raised to believe.  As Maple and Evergreen fall in love and become engaged, Wild Ginger's turns cold and soon betrays the both of them, but she still can not stay away from Evergreen.

     This novel is a frightening but true look at China's past.  Full of intensity and passion, Wild Ginger is a love story which uses the horrors and injustices of China's cultural revolution as a backdrop.

     Honestly, I wasn't sure how I would feel about this novel, but I was drawn in instantly.  The passion and the intensity of the characters makes this novel a truly memorable one.  It does get a little racy at some points, but nothing over the top.  Overall, I would give this novel a 4.25 out of 5.

     Think you might want to give this book a try?  Read other reviews or order from Amazon!   Wild Ginger: A Novel

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