BookBrowse Reviews Under Fishbone Clouds by Sam Meekings

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Under Fishbone Clouds

A Novel

By Sam Meekings

Under Fishbone Clouds
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  • Hardcover: Dec 2010,
    416 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Elena Spagnolie

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A debut novel that is part love story, part historical narrative set against the backdrop of the birth of modern China

Sam Meekings's debut novel, Under Fishbone Clouds, is a quiet and thoughtful tale that follows the marriage of Bian Yuying and Hou Jinyi for over 54 years, from 1946 through 2000. In telling their story, Meekings mixes the beauty of Chinese culture with the brutality of its history—famine, disease, Civil War, Japanese occupation, and the Cultural Revolution led by Mao Zedong—while illustrating, with great care and craftsmanship, how the events in life shape our needs and behaviors, almost imperceptibly, as we grow older. The uncertainty of the times, and the expectation of loss subtly change how his characters relate to one another and, in time, even the landscape seems to help mould distinct personalities. Meekings's craftsmanship is remarkable, and his characters are interesting and believable throughout the entire novel—they are introspective without being ...

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