Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu
Helen Lewis (30/3/23)
With a bold sweep of history from turbulent wartime China to 21st Century New Mexico, Melissa Fu weaves a magical scroll of love and loss. Meilin and her son Renshu cling to each other as they are swept across China by political events, eventually washing up on the shores of Taiwan. Amidst the hardships and inequities of post-war society, she makes sacrifices to ensure a good education and a secure future for him. But there is further heartbreak to come as Renshu makes a new life for himself and his family thousands of miles beyond her reach.
Peach Blossom Spring is far more than just a family saga. Melissa Fu’s skilful narrative deftly immerses the reader in multiple time periods and cultures, opening a door onto the lived experience of the Chinese diaspora. Using a haunting metaphor from classical Chinese literature, she explores the tension between both treasuring and escaping our past, between embracing the future and handing on heritage to those we love.
What I loved:
Melissa’s original and exquisite descriptions of places, events and characters, which were immensely satisfying and kept me turning the pages.
Why I would recommend Peach Blossom Spring to other readers:
Whether you are new to Chinese fiction/history or a veteran Sinophile, this novel will engage your senses and tug at your heartstrings!