I actually took advantage of a librarian perk and got ahold of some e-galleys from Edelweiss. Unfortunately I didn't pay attention to publication dates, so I had to get on this book right away even though there were some other things I was burning to read... But it's not so bad because this book was a fun read.
But a strange one.
I haven't read any translated Chinese books before, so I don't know if this novel is typical of Chinese literature or not, but it certainly had elements that I wasn't used to. For instance, it seemed like a lot of the major events just sort of... end... without explicitly resolving anything. Apparently things are resolved, seeing as how the characters move on with their lives.
Speaking of characters, the blurb for this book made it sound like the epic quest of an exiled Pacific Islander boy and a grieving Thai woman and their search for her missing family. This is actually a very small portion of the story and only a fragment of the characters in this book. Rather, the story follows many characters and through quirky, though sometimes tragic, arcs as people deal with trash-laden tsunamis and their aftermaths. It's actually rather hard to explain what the book is about without detailing each step of the way. I guess I'll just say that it's an interesting exploration of Thai culture and the interaction with indigenous populations and it also explores the power of the stories and myths and memories we create for ourselves. It's a pleasure to meet the characters and explore their lives, even if the focus sometimes seems a little strange (I'm assuming this arises from cultural differences).
Pick this up if you enjoy surreal, quirky tales and a taste of other cultures.