Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa
Another of those blind-buys, The Girl Who Played Go is both a romance and coming-of-age book, but its Eastern roots are quite evident in the sense that it's starkly different compared to how a Western writer would write it. The book constantly juxataposes between two characters, a Chinese girl and a Japanese soldier invading China. As can be expected, love develops between the two, but not in the way most readers might expect. It's all indirect, subtle, and even innocent. Throw in a background of historical conflict and you have an unparalleled story. I'm not a real fan of romance but exposure to writers like Shan Sa are a welcome deviation from my reading norm. Thankfully, Asian romance isn't necessarily mushy, but this book leaves you this feeling of catharsis by the time you're done.