Destinies Divided A World War 1 romance of the Chinese Diaspora
by Mee-mee Phipps
This is the follow-on from Memories in the Bone, which I had been looking forward to reading. Sadly, I was disappointed.
I had become involved in the lives of Zhou Yu, Horowai, Yung and all the others and felt I had got to know them all and wanted to know what became of them after the first book finished.
This second book simply tells the story, and a jolly good story it is too. The fact that it is a good story is not enough to involve the reader in the lives of the characters in the same way. It did tell me what became of them all, but did not leave me wanting more. It almost seemed it had been written in a hurry just to get the story told.
Historically it is fascinating. I knew nothing about the contribution the Chinese people made to the First World War or how they felt they were betrayed at the end. Like the author, I was surprised to learn 200,000 Chinese non-combatant labourers were used to dig trenches, lay mine fields and bury dead, and how they were considered expendable. Thousands of them perished in Europe during the time.
I will, however, read the next book The Lifting of the Sun when it is available and hope it engages me as Memories in the Bone did.
I cannot help but think that the huge scope of this story – from feudal China to Gold Rush Australia, colonial New Zealand, the West Coast of the United States of America to the Great War trenches in Europe – would make a great television mini series.
Imprint: Seriously Red Books
Available: Kindle, Fishpond, Create Space; and in NZ, Papawai Press, Devonport or direct from: email@example.com