Reading guide for Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Peach Blossom Spring

A Novel

by Melissa Fu

Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu X
Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Mar 2022, 400 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. What purposes do Meilin's scroll stories serve throughout the narrative? What do they mean to Meilin? In what ways do they shape the person Renshu/Henry becomes?
  2. How do ideas from Tao Qian's poem 'Peach Blossom Spring' echo with larger themes in the novel? What was your reaction when Henry discovered how the original poem differed from Meilin's version? Why did Meilin change the story?
  3. What was your favorite fable in the novel? Was there one lesson that resonated with you more than the others?
  4. Languages are important in this book. How is language used both to bring people together as well as keep people apart?
  5. On p.89, Longwei tells Meilin, 'China has become a chessboard.' What does he mean? How does Meilin see things differently? Do you think either is right? Discuss how their different visions for China shape their choices throughout the novel.
  6. What were Longwei's motivations in switching the names on Renshu's visa application? Do you think what he did was wrong or necessary or maybe both?
  7. Early on, Meilin tells Renshu that 'regret is a heavy burden.' Later, she reflects that 'it's impossible to have complete conviction that you've made all the right decisions. No one is that lucky or that naive.' What regrets, if any, do you think the characters have?
  8. Are Renshu and Henry different people? How does taking on a new identity help Renshu? Does it also harm him?
  9. Henry and Rachel's relationship is the one marriage we see in the book of some duration. How does their relationship change and how do they change each other over the years?
  10. Discuss how the novel explores motherhood. What does a mother owe to her children? Is Meilin a good mother? Is Rachel? How is raising a child different during a time of great struggle—such as during a war? In what ways are their challenges the same?
  11. Why does Henry become paranoid living in Los Alamos? What do you think he is really afraid of? How does his fear affect Lily?
  12. Do you wish Meilin could have found a way to live in America? Would her life have been better there?
  13. What does Henry and Lily's trip to Taiwan mean for each of them? Does it change how they see themselves, their family, and each other?
  14. Why does Henry become obsessed with growing fruit trees? What does an orchard mean to him? What did it mean to Meilin?
  15. Towards the end, Lily says, 'I never realised that my father has such a nice smile.' What has made it possible for Henry to smile and for Lily to finally see it?
  16. Each of the main characters, Meilin, Renshu/Henry, and Lily goes on a kind of journey. For each of them, what is the journey? How are their journeys similar—and how are they different? What are the events that change them the most and how are they changed?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Little Brown & Company. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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 $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Chinese Handscrolls

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.25 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting
    Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting
    by Clare Pooley
    For the many years that I've been reading, one realization has always come to mind for me after ...
  • Book Jacket: We Had to Remove This Post
    We Had to Remove This Post
    by Hanna Bervoets
    It's not about money. Kayleigh, the protagonist and narrator of We Had to Remove This Post, a newly ...
  • Book Jacket: River of the Gods
    River of the Gods
    by Candice Millard
    The Nile River has provided vital resources for millennia, serving as a source of water, food and ...
  • Book Jacket: Horse
    Horse
    by Geraldine Brooks
    Geraldine Brooks creates a powerful backstory for 19th-century thoroughbred racehorse Lexington, ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Hamnet
by Maggie O'Farrell
"Of all the stories...about Shakespeare’s life, [Hamnet] is so gorgeously written that it transports you."
The Boston Globe

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Lies I Tell
    by Julie Clark

    The new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight!

  • Book Jacket

    One's Company
    by Ashley Hutson

    For readers of Ottessa Moshfegh this fearless debut chronicles one woman's escape into a world of obsessive imagination.

Win This Book!
Win Where the Crawdads Sing

Win a signed copy of Where the Crawdads Sing

In celebration of the movie release on July 15, we have three signed copies to give away.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T O Thing W H T F I F I

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

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.