The Third Son: Book summary and reviews of The Third Son by Julie Wu

The Third Son

by Julie Wu

The Third Son
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2013
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

In the middle of a terrifying air raid in Japanese-occupied Taiwan, Saburo, the least-favored son of a Taiwanese politician, runs through a peach forest for cover. It's there that he stumbles upon Yoshiko, whose descriptions of her loving family are to Saburo like a glimpse of paradise. Meeting her is a moment he will remember forever, and for years he will try to find her again. When he finally does, she is by the side of his oldest brother and greatest rival.

Set in a tumultuous and violent period of Taiwanese history - as the Chinese Nationalist Army lays claim to the island and one autocracy replaces another - and the fast-changing American West of the late 1950s and early 1960s, The Third Son is a richly textured story of lives governed by the inheritance of family and the legacy of culture, and of a young man determined to free himself from both.

In Saburo, debut author Julie Wu has created an extraordinary character who is determined to fight for everything he needs and wants, from food to education to his first love. A sparkling and moving story, it will have readers cheering for a young boy with his head in the clouds who, against all odds, finds himself on the frontier of America's space program.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Wu presents an alluring story that hits all the right emotional buttons and maintains readers' empathy from the first page to the last." - Kirkus

"Rooted in time and culture, Wu's debut novel opens up the family immigrant story with no sweet resolution after leaving home." - Booklist

"Clear your schedule! The Third Son is your next obsessive read. Julie Wu's book reads like an instant classic." - Lydia Netzer, author of Shine Shine Shine

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After graduating from Harvard with a BA in Literature, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Julie Wu received an MD at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. She has received a writing grant from the Vermont Studio Center and won a 2012 Massachusetts Cultural Council fellowship.

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