Rated of 5
by Barbara P. (Worcester, MA)
All the Flowers of Shanghai
Amy Tan and Maxine Hong Kingston's ghosts speak and guide us in their familiar histories.
"Flowers in Shanghai" does not strive or accomplish any social mores of the Chinese tradition. The main character, Feng, didn't act out, is unemotional, and just hides in her room like a dormant flower.
Feng comes to the wealthy Sang family with no experience or with any practical advice. The only beauty in the story is the garden and her grandpa. Feng is the wounded, wilting, and uncaring mother instead of the customary heroine. She needs to plot action to grow. Or does Jepson want her to appear as a non-person showing the readers the prevailing attitude toward daughters in the East? He certainly accomplished this.
The historical fiction of the new modern era verses the old China seems to come too late into the story.