A nifty supernatural turn on historical fiction for fans of Lisa See. Here’s editor Jennifer Brehl on the book: “Leiyin Song was the cherished, but naive daughter of an aristocratic family in Civil War China during the 1920s. But when she fell hopelessly in love with a radical left-wing poet Yen Hanchin and defied her father in an attempt to go to college, she quickly learned that she was not in control of her own life. Now one fateful decision has changed the course of her life and her death, and she must atone for her sins in the afterlife with the guidance of her ‘three souls’ [the scholarly yang, romantic yin and wise hun.]”
Debut author Chang was inspired by the stories of her own ancestors while growing up in a family that traces its lineage back 36 generations. The blend of suspense, history, romance, and imagination makes it a great book club choice for the many groups interested in exploring history through fiction.
In Chang’s moving fiction debut, the ghost of a young woman, Song Leiyin, recalls the civil war period of the late 1920s and early 1930s in China. As the narrative begins, Leiyin is observing her own funeral and has no memory of her past life. Her three souls—yin, yang, and hun—help her begin to recover her memories so that she can atone for her wrongdoings and earn a chance for reincarnation…. [The] novel bristles with freshness and heart.”
“Compelling and utterly original. Janie Chang’s riveting debut gives us so much: a complex heroine, a window into the vanished world of pre-Communist China, a fascinating plot and language that sings. An intoxicating story of family, ambition and the risks we take for love.”
—Tara Conklin, author of The House Girl
Three Souls (9780062293190) by Jamie Chang. $16.99 trade paper original. 2/25/14 on sale.