Read advance reader review of Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen, page 2 of 4

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Activities of Daily Living

A Novel

by Lisa Hsiao Chen

Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen X
Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2022
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Page 2 of 4
There are currently 26 member reviews
for Activities of Daily Living
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  • Dan W. (Fort Myers, FL)
    The Interconnections
    An engaging first novel on the interconnection between work and life, loneliness and kinship, and the projects that occupy our time. A careful and focused reading is imperative in separating fact from fiction, as the author shuffles back and forth in presenting opposite stories of reality. A slower paced second reading is encouraged! Enlightening reading!
  • Lorraine D. (Lacey, WA)
    A Refocusing on What Is Important
    Activities of Daily Living is a recounting of everyday experiences of a freelance writer as she pursues what she regards as projects. One of these projects is to trace the unusual and challenging career of performance artist, Tehching Hsieh, whose works are performed in segments of 12 continuous months. Simultaneously, her parent's journey through Dementia into Alzheimers becomes a concurrent project; sometimes painful and difficult to read, as she attempts to cope with the progression. This was a riveting novel about art and life, and the impact of choices and circumstance. The meticulously descriptive accounting of these ongoing events affirms the importance of one's view and use of time. A project has a beginning and an end; lives and relationships have beginnings and endings. This novel is a reminder that life is a Project, and one cannot change the past or the future, nor repeatedly ruminate over them. The reader is refocused on the importance of the present moment – all that we can truly affect. I found the book difficult to put down.
  • Terrie J. (Eagan, MN)
    A Book for All
    This book was very thought-provoking. The title sums it up perfectly. The story wove us through daily actions in a way that allowed me to be in the events and compare it to similar events in my life. The main character described activities that were split between an artist's work and her father's decline. Her choice of words used to describe common things we all feel and go through immersed you in her story and gave importance to our daily activities, no matter how trivial or important. I highly recommend this book.
  • Susan W. (Berkley, MI)
    Multilayered, moving novel
    This book gives the reader a lot to think about. On one level it deals with the relationship between parent and child. This was the one I couldn't get out of my thoughts, as I volleyed between being the adult child and the parent: how it feels to grow old, how it feels to watch your parent age.

    The project was at times too rambling for me, with its obscure references to writings and artwork that were not familiar to me. However, it did serve to move the novel forward, and it was definitely a central part of the narrative. Art is life is art.

    I liked this book also for its lens into a different kind of Chinese family, unlike and yet so similar to many of us, walking the fine line between ghosts of the past and survival in the present.
  • Brenda S. (Sebring, FL)
    Interesting...
    Once again, i was given an opportunity to read a book I might have just ignored to my detriment. The writing style is not one that I find easy to read and the story(s) was not the easiest to follow; however, the author took time to educate the reader while telling a tale of family hardship.

    More than one issue is covered and all have their merits and interest points. It is easy to stop reading and think about what the author just shared, be it the life of an artist, the child of a disappearing parent, or the friend of a friend/lover. So well written!

    This book will stay with me a long time. I am extremely glad I had the opportunity to absorb these pages.
  • Rose N. (Saginaw, MI)
    Spending One's Time
    Ms. Chen has written of the strange, weird ways the nonfictional artist, Tehching Hsieh, employs 'time' in his various performance art pieces. Paralleling this part of the novel is the fictional story of Alice who spends much of her time visiting and caring for her dying father. The concept of 'time' and how it is portrayed by these individuals clearly fits the title "Activities of Daily Living".

    After reading this book, a topic for discussion could be: On any given day, how does one choose to spend the time of that day and how much is that choice determined by surrounding circumstances?
  • Mary S. (Edmonds, WA)
    The struggle of daily activities
    The title captured the main focus of the book - daily activities that impact people's lives and how all of us struggle to create meaning and purpose. I loved the word imagery that the author used as it drew me into the story but the story line itself seemed rather fragmented. The main character was struggling with the decline and care of her father while at the same time following the life and art of a local artist. The character of her father seemed to be more detailed than that of the artist. There was a bit of his life described but not enough that I was able to get a real sense of him as a person and understand the world of performing art. I enjoyed the book overall but found it a bit of a slog at times.

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