Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Red Chamber by Pauline A. Chen

An epic novel set in eighteenth-century Beijing, this book deals with the lives of three women and describes in detail what life was like for them. At first I was intimated by the names I couldn't pronounce, but that ceased to be an issue as I read further. The author does a splendid job of describing the customs of that time, and I learned a lot about the Chinese culture. I was amazed by the family traditions and this has encouraged me to learn more about this facinating people. We are first introduced to a young woman who lives a simple life in the provinces and has travelled to the big city to meet her relatives, who are very wealthy. This is where we meet the entire family, and the author spends the right amount of time developing each character. It is an interesting study of family dynamics, so when things take a turn for the worse, we get to really see what these characters are like. If you have ever wanted to learn more about eighteenth-century Beijing in a fine storytelling format, this would be a great book for you!

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