Inheritance: A Novel

Inheritance: A Novel

4.5 2
by Lan Samantha Chang
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A timeless story of familial devotion undermined by deceit and passion and rebuilt by memory.

In 1931, abandoned after their mother's suicide, the young Junan and her sister, Yinan, make a pact never to leave each other. The two girls are inseparable—until Junan enters into an arranged marriage and finds herself falling in love with her soldier husband.

…  See more details below

Overview

A timeless story of familial devotion undermined by deceit and passion and rebuilt by memory.

In 1931, abandoned after their mother's suicide, the young Junan and her sister, Yinan, make a pact never to leave each other. The two girls are inseparable—until Junan enters into an arranged marriage and finds herself falling in love with her soldier husband. When the Japanese invade China, Junan and her husband are separated. Unable to follow him to the wartime capital, Junan makes the fateful decision to send her sister after him. Inheritance traces the echo of betrayal through generations and explores the elusive nature of trust. Reading group guide included.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
A story of sisterly love, romantic love and betrayal, this novel starts in China in 1931 and takes the reader to California and New York. It is about romantic love and political chaos and how sisters, brothers and married couples can often be divided as their loyalties change, because of love and politics. In this tale, two sisters in China in the 1930s, born of a mother who commits suicide, find themselves competing over the older sister's husband. The husband and his brother split over political differences, just as China and Taiwan split. The narrator is a young Chinese American woman who attempts to unravel her own family's history in the 1990s and, in doing so, takes the reader to her grandparents' and parents' China. The author grew up in Wisconsin, the daughter of Chinese immigrants who remembered a China that no longer existed. This novel is her attempt to discover the China of her parents and to reconcile the many divisions she creates in her fictional world. The modern American reader will find the names, the geography and the culture of the Chinese part of the novel somewhat confusing, but it is those details that give the story its texture. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Norton, 302p., Ages 15 to adult.
—Nola Theiss

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393344769
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/30/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
333,158
File size:
864 KB

Meet the Author

Lan Samantha Chang's fiction has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Story and The Best American Short Stories 1994 and 1996. Chang is the author of the award-winning books Hunger and Inheritance, and the novel All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost. She is the recipient of the Wallace Stegner and Truman Capote fellowships at Stanford University. She also received, from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, a Teaching-Writing fellowship and a Michener-Copernicus fellowship. Her many awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, and she was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she directs the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Inheritance 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
usako More than 1 year ago
Wealth, beauty, power, loyalty, connections, and even the worst of your family¿s bad luck, and shame can be inherited, as a blessing or a curse. Inheritance by Lan Samantha Chang is a book about the bad luck that can be passed down from generation to generation. Certainly the luck of Hong¿s family is centered around love, but isn¿t all fair in love and war.
The story starts out in Hong¿s point of view as she describes her grandmother Chanyi ¿no longer a young woman¿ going on a privet trip with Junan and Yinan to the fortune teller. Chanyi is a fragile woman in love, and the fact that she is in love is horrible to her. She knows that her heart will be broken, but she won¿t do anything about it, because she is in love. In her desperation she tries to see that her daughters, do not suffer the same fate, and so Chanyi¿s two daughters grow under this despair, however Junan hardens herself to it. Junan becomes a beautiful, perfect wife for Li-Ang, the man of her father¿s ¿choosing¿ however she bears two children, both girls. On the other hand Yinan dose not want to marry, even if it is her fathers wish. It is deceiving, the passion and love that is hidden inside of her, as well as Li-Ang, and while Junan is the mother of Li-Ang¿s two daughters, Yinan becomes the mother of Li-Ang¿s only son.
From the very beginning this family was fated for bad luck in love, Chanyi had born two daughters, but no son and as her husband¿s affections were given to another woman, there is no question that Chanyi had died with a broken heart. Junan never expected anything special, she would be married, even gambled away, and the marriage was not horrible, not at first. Even in the fear of what her mother had gone through, Junan fell in love with Li-Ang. She still loved him just as her mother loved her father, even after Li-Ang had clamed Yinan, her sister. Soon little Hong grew up, and even under Junin¿s(her mothers) strict rules, she fell in love, but only to bear the baby of a dead father. The years passed in disputes between sisters, daughters lovers, even friends, but forgiveness is not given.
Even in a life centered around the disputes of love isn¿t all fair in love and war? Junan fought against the horror that her mother had endured. She fought it away from herself, and tried to fight it away from the ones that she loved. However only Junan¿s daughter Hong, who just kept loving, lived without breaking her heart, again and again. What are you, a lover or a fighter?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this novel but I must have missed something in my reading. Junan wreaks havoc of her own doing and then wonders why? I just didn't get it. I loved the history in the book more than the characterization. I thought the prose was lovely, too. Try it.