Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

The Rock Maiden: A Chinese Tale of Love and Loyalty by Natasha Yim Illustrated by Pirkko Vainio

The Rock Maiden: A Chinese Tale of Love and Loyalty

When her fisherman husband fails to come home after a storm at sea, the beautiful maiden Ling Yee is heartbroken. Every morning, she puts her baby on her back and clambers to the top of a cliff looking for any signs of his return. But day after day, she is disappointed. The villagers try to convince her to give up her vigil. “No,” she would say, “He will come home soon.” Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Heavens, takes pity on her grief and turns Ling Yee and her child into stone so that they would mourn no more. The fisherman eventually finds his way home–only to discover that his wife has been transformed into the Rock Maiden. Will the family forever be kept apart? Or will devotion and faithfulness ultimately be rewarded?

Oh this was such a lovely tale. I don’t want to be a spoiler but this is one of those times when you need the book to have a happy ending. Perfect for when you’re studying Asian cultures but also perfect when you need a lovely picture book. There isn’t really any time that this book wouldn’t be appropriate. Highly recommend for Diversity Reading Challenge.

Categories
Adult Fiction Books

Towne Book Center Book Club Pick: The Light Between Oceans

I heard this idea on NPR one day a long time ago and it stuck with me: whenever I hear the title of the book somewhere in the book it makes me think: gagggggggggg. I don’t know why. It feels hokey or something. And seeing as I’m a fan of very strange sounds, gagggggggghhh is not a sound I like to make when reading a book.  It’s kinda like that mushy feeling you get when there’s too much kissing going on in a book. blech.

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Where was I? Oh . The Light Between Oceans. The title is NOT in the book and for that I love the book.  I didn’t love the book; didn’t hate it either.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE learning about lighthouses and Australia, but the story took too long to develop.  But when it did develop, it was nice.  What’s interesting about the book is that the human struggle post WWI in Australia is strikingly similar to that all over the world: PTSD, break ups of families, sadness, loss, new beginnings, etc.

The life of a lighthouse keeper is a lonely one. And while I’m not a swimmer or a fisherman nor do I enjoy breezy ocean sprays, there is something about being alone with a lighthouse (and it’s dangerous mercury) and the magnificent ocean view that intrigues me. Hours of solitude and being alone with my thoughts sounds like a pretty pleasurable way to spend my days.  It’s completely romantic rubbish, I’m sure but the introvert in me likes at least the idea of it.

Thanks to the magic of the internet I found a photo of a lighthouse that might have been the inspiration for the lighthouse in this book.

courtesy http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/WA/Eclipse%20Island/Eclipse%20Island.htm
courtesy http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/WA/Eclipse%20Island/Eclipse%20Island.htm

Not nearly as romantic looking as imagined in the book but gives you an idea of what the terrain might have looked like.

So, the great thing about reading books is that you get to travel. For this book I traveled to Australia and learned about Tasmania too, while googling Australia.

I wonder where I’ll travel to next in my readings?

Have you read The Light Between Oceans? What are your thoughts?