Hardback Our missing hearts / Celeste Ng.
Publication year: 2022
Publisher: London : Abacus Books,
Resource type: Physical
ISBN: 9781408716915 (hbk.) :
Notes: Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in Harvard's library. He knows not to ask too many questions, stand out too much, stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve 'American culture' in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic - including the work of Bird's mother, Margaret. Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn't know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn't wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is drawn into a quest to find her.
Total number of items: 7
Number of reservations: 0
335 pages ; 24 cm
Having very much enjoyed her two previous novels and read enthusiastic reviews of this one, I was very much looking forward to reading this book. And I did eventually find much to admire and like in it. But it takes a while to really get going. The set up in the first half of the book, which gives the background to this dystopian USA, where an economic crisis has been blamed on China, and its aftermath has resulted in a Stasi-like state with children taken away from "anti-American" parents, I found very unconvincing…and, I'm afraid, at times, pretty tedious. But it really picks up in the second half, with moments of considerable tension and emotional highs. Definitely worth reading if you can persevere through the early part.