Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022 and Award Winners

Dear Fang, With Love: Book summary and reviews of Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe

Dear Fang, With Love

by Rufi Thorpe

Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe X
Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published May 2016
    320 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

From the acclaimed author of The Girls from Corona del Mar, a sprawling, ambitious new novel about a young father who takes his teenage daughter to Europe, hoping that an immersion in history might help them forget his past mistakes and her uncertain future.

Lucas and Katya were boarding school seniors when, blindingly in love, they decided to have a baby. Seventeen years later, after years of absence, Lucas is a weekend dad, newly involved in his daughter Vera's life. But after Vera suffers a terrifying psychotic break at a high school party, Lucas takes her to Lithuania, his grandmother's homeland, for the summer.

Here, in the city of Vilnius, Lucas hopes to save Vera from the sorrow of her diagnosis. As he uncovers a secret about his grandmother, a Home Army rebel who escaped Stutthof, Vera searches for answers of her own. Why did Lucas abandon her as a baby? What really happened the night of her breakdown? And who can she trust with the truth? Skillfully weaving family mythology and Lithuanian history with a story of mental illness, inheritance, young love, and adventure, Rufi Thorpe has written a wildly accomplished, stunningly emotional book.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

BookBrowse Review
"In this quirky novel, an absent father brings his teen daughter on a history tour of Vilnius, Lithuania, as a way of bonding with his child and discovering his past. While Lithuania's history provides informative insights, and the young Vera is a compelling model of someone who teeters on the edge of mania, the whole doesn't tie up together well. This is especially so because Lucas, the father, comes across as so very lily-livered. The story swings between tours of Vilnius and that of Lucas' family. Vera too peppers the account with emails to dear Fang, her California high-school boyfriend. All in all, promising and occasionally engaging but the characters are not absorbing enough to pull the reader all the way through."

Other Reviews
"Starred Review. While the themes of the book - mania, the Holocaust, and the devastating number of ways that any parent-child dynamic can go awry - are undeniably dark, Thorpe's prose is light, often hilarious, and unshakably grounded in the concrete details of daily life... Thorpe has written an absolute winner." - Publishers Weekly

"Thorpe, the highly regarded author of The Girls from Corona del Mar (2014) sets this tale of parental guilt and teenage angst against the town's WWII past, adding true-life authenticity to an already stirring story." - Booklist

"Melancholic and whimsical at once, Thorpe's novel is bumpy, quirky, and wholly original." - Kirkus

"Dear Fang, With Love is a beautiful story about mental illness and love." - PopSugar, "26 Books You Should Read This Spring."

This information about Dear Fang, With Love was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Rufi Thorpe

Rufi Thorpe received her MFA from the University of Virginia in 2009. Her first novel, The Girls from Corona del Mar, was long listed for the 2014 International Dylan Thomas Prize and for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. She lives in California with her husband and sons.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more literary fiction...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Horse
    Horse
    by Geraldine Brooks
    Voted 2022 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. Geraldine Brooks creates a ...
  • Book Jacket: In Love
    In Love
    by Amy Bloom
    Voted 2022 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. In 2019, author Amy Bloom and her...
  • Book Jacket: Remarkably Bright Creatures
    Remarkably Bright Creatures
    by Shelby Van Pelt
    Voted 2022 Best Debut Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. Shelby Van Pelt's debut novel, ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Scatterlings
    by Resoketswe Martha Manenzhe

    The debut novel of a gifted storyteller who has become a sensation in her native South Africa.

Wordplay

The Big Holiday Wordplay

Enter Now

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Honor
by Thrity Umrigar
Set in India, a tender and evocative novel about love across a cultural divide, familial devotion and betrayal.
Who Said...

Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.