I’m very confused about how I felt about this book. The writing was of a pretty good standard but I just didn’t see the point in the story. I read the book because the synopsis intrigued me, but the actual plot didn’t really match up.
This review contains spoilers.
Disclaimer: I received a free eARC in return for an honest review.
I have a few criticisms: my first is that the book has implied that a white American & a Chinese can not have a successful relationship – when David & Laura breakup, Laura starts dating a white man & David dates a Chinese-American who can speak his native language. In other words, two people of different races marry, their marriage falls apart & both parties resort to marrying people of their own race? Am I the only person who see’s the issue with this? Additionally, the scene on the cover doesn’t even happen – I thought we’d have some drama but there wasn’t a single dramatic scene in the entire book. The cover, & the synopsis, give the impression that David has an affair but he doesn’t, & when Laura does we don’t get a single scene about it. Why bother including scenes from Laura’s perspective if we don’t get anything related to her most important part in the story?
Also, the break up came very suddenly & didn’t make a lot of sense to me; Laura’s speech when she interacted with David throughout the book was very flat & felt very forced, but it was even worse when she broke up with him. I understand that her character is supposed to be cold, especially during the phase of ending the relationship, but she was so cold that she didn’t really apologise & didn’t seem to feel any remorse… this is a woman who has just moved in with another man whilst her husband waits at home for her? The situation just felt super unrealistic & rushed into.
I also hoped that the book would show David making a success of his life, despite the fact that he cannot speak English very well… but it didn’t. I’m glad the book didn’t describe him overcoming his speech issues because I hate books that make out like curing a person is the way to fix their whole lives, but this book, for the most part, basically just showed that the fact that he can’t speak English very well ruined David’s career as a teacher/lecturer & we only get a small snapshot of his life going well in the final chapter & the epilogue. It’s like we’ve had half a story.
The title also gave me the impression that David would show people that just because he can’t speak English very well it doesn’t change that he’s incredibly intelligent, so I was hoping he’d be able to win his students round & show them that he is in fact, an incredible writer. Instead, they just hated him.
And one more thing, toward the end of the book the writer seems to make light of, & seriously brush over the idea of suicide & that irritated me somewhat.
Despite the issues I had with the book I did continue to read it until the end because I have to admit the writing was of a good standard. Chandra managed to keep me reading even though I wasn’t really enjoying the plot so they must have done something right, even if it wasn’t the plot. I may give another of Chandra’s books ago in the future but this one just didn’t do it for me. Sorry!