Three Souls: A Novel

Three Souls: A Novel

by Janie Chang
4.0 2

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Three Souls 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
Three Souls by Janie Chang is a novel tak­ing place in China before World War II. This is Ms. Chang’s debut novel. In China, 1935, Leiyin watches her own funeral and wan­ders why she has not been per­mit­ted to the after­life. Leiyin dis­cov­ers that she is not alone; three souls are there to guide her along the way until she make amends. But first she has to find out what she has to make amends for. Dur­ing her life, Leiyin fell in love with a rad­i­cal com­mu­nist named Hanchin, but at the cost of dis­ap­point­ing her fam­ily and pun­ished for dis­obe­di­ence and ulti­mately he death. Slowly Leiyin dis­cov­ers what she must do to exit limbo and go on to the afterlife. Three Souls by Janie Chang is a very lyri­cal, poignant and inter­est­ing novel which give the uni­formed reader, such as myself, an inter­est­ing back­ground about recent Chi­nese his­tory and cul­ture. While the book does not delve into much phi­los­o­phy, it does give a cer­tain ref­er­ence about the loom­ing Japan­ese inva­sion, people’s fears and the strug­gle between the Nation­al­ists and the Communists. The novel is told through the eyes of the pro­tag­o­nist, Leiyin, who is spend­ing the time in the after­life, reflect­ing back on her life and try­ing to atone for some­thing she has done wrong. The reader doesn’t know what she is try­ing to atone for until the end. I liked the way the author cap­tures the after­life, with the three spir­its who guide us through life, are also our guide in the after­life, each with their own unique per­son­al­ity and advice. The author builds her char­ac­ters well, while I didn’t con­nect with any of them (usu­ally the sign that I won’t like a book), I did feel as if I know them and cared about them. Leiyin strug­gles to get her mes­sage from a state of limbo to the liv­ing were poignant and the solu­tion was unique and interesting. The book lagged at some points, inter­est­ingly at the sec­ond quar­ter, but I did enjoy read­ing the novel and learn­ing about Chi­nese cul­ture, his­tory and belief sys­tem. I am look­ing for­ward to read more books by the author.
yarrow More than 1 year ago
After she dies, a woman rights the wrongs she did during her life.