“Within every misfortune there is a blessing and within every blessing, the seeds of misfortune, and so it goes, until the end of time.”Melissa Fu, Peach Blossom Spring
Title: Peach Blossom Spring
Author: Melissa Fu
Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
Published: March 15th, 2022
My Rating: ★★★★★
Read: 6/1/2022 – 6/3/2022
I’ve been struggling all day to come up with the right words to describe my thoughts about this book. I feel like I say books are ‘lovely’ or ‘beautiful’ or ‘touching’ too often. This book is beautiful. It’s also heartbreaking and inspiring rolled into one.
I’ve read generational stories before, but I don’t think any quite like this, following three generations in so much detail with great fluidity. I loved all of the main characters. I felt like I was there with them even though this is a culture I’m only superficially acquainted with. I was going through their tragedies with them and was overjoyed by any good fortune. I also learned a lot about Chinese traditions as well as bits of history I plumb never questioned. It never occurred to me China was also a target of Japan during WWII. If I knew, it didn’t register. I knew more about what came after but even then not in much detail. This book also illustrated life for a Chinese/Taiwanese immigrant in America in the 20th Century, eventually coming to a crossroads when it came time to raise children in a new place and the conflict between newfound freedom and heritage.
A book spanning so many decades typically runs the risk of being too dragged out or having too much crammed in, but Peach Blossom Spring has fantastic pacing. It highlights important moments in the characters’ lives while respectfully skipping past the less exciting years and moments or revisiting them in hindsight. There is no unnecessary information tossed around. I hope Melissa Fu has more novels planned for the future. Her writing is exquisite.
I’ll be honest. When I chose this as my February Book of the Month I regretted not just skipping the month because none of the books jumped out at me. I just went with the Historical Fiction pick then wondered why I didn’t save my money. As the month progressed, I saw so many positive comments about it on the BOTM Facebook group and I continue to see them. With spring coming to an end, I decided to finally give it a go. Now I feel ashamed for ever having regretted getting it! It’s one of my favorite reads so far this year. For some reason, I thought this book was predominantly set in the 70s and 80s. I don’t know what gave me that idea. I like those eras, but I didn’t think I would be interested enough to make it worth it. How wrong I was!