Spiegel & Grau. May 2024. 256p. ISBN 9781954118607. $28. F
DEBUT Min offers an original perspective in storytelling by unravelling the lives of the Yang family, living in Shanghai in the year 2040. Once the characters of Leo, his wife Eko, and their three daughters Yoko, Yumi, and Kiko are established, each chapter gradually descends back in time until the year 2014. Readers see a well-to-do couple who are disenchanted with their marriage and come to learn secrets about each family member. Some of these revelations include unwanted pregnancies, physical abuse, a daughter dabbling with thoughts of being a sex worker at age 16, and an affair. Min also offers brief glimpses of the family members through the eyes of Eko’s mother, the family’s driver, and the nanny. Each chapter provides the audience with a limited snapshot of the family at a given point in time.
VERDICT Min’s debut will be appreciated by readers who relish the joy of discovery and piecing information together to shape the characters and events in their own minds. It is an intriguing portrait of a fragmented family where nothing is ever quite what it seems. A strong option for book groups.
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