📚 Book Tour + Review 📚
Title: River East, River West
Author: Aube Rey Lescure
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Literary HF
River East, River West quietly sucks you in wanting to know more about each of the characters: teenager Alva, her mother Sloan (an expat), and new wealthy stepfather Lu Fang. It’s a coming of age story for 15 yo Alva in 2007 as she wrestles with half of her Chinese heritage and the other half American. She’s been going to a strict Chinese school because that’s what her mother wants for her and could afford, but now with her stepfather’s wealth she plots a plan to attend the American School in Shanghai. Ultimately what she really wants is to move to America. Once enrolled, Alva is surprised by the wealth and behavior of community of expats. It raises the question if their behavior would be the same in America as it is in China.
It’s hard to believe that 1985 is considered historical fiction, but here we are. The author takes us back to this time when Lu Fang was a lowly clerk in shipping, married to a village girl with a baby on the way. This is when he first met Sloan, a young American teaching English. His flashback years progress a little and we learn about how his business grew and his hopes and dreams for his family.
This book explores China’s political history and economic rise; along side the America dream. It takes on love, heritage and the meaning of home.
CW: Underage drinking & drug use, sexual assault to a minor + taking advantage (this one was a hard pill to swallow, but it occurred at three quarters of the way through, so I was fully invested in the story and understood what the author was trying to do) suicide, alcohol abuse
Despite these triggers I did really enjoyed this one. Sometimes, I like a messy book that makes you think. After all, isn’t that what life kind of is!?
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