Her novels and short stories are fascinating, her writing style is bright and vivid. It is a rather typical Chinese family, with a typical story. The frustration of first generation of immigrants already born in the country is presented on the example of the two daughters that come of age already in a totally new western society — in California. The novel may seem to lack chronology, due to the fact that some chapters are written in form of a diary.
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Shelves: asian-literature , historical-fiction Let me start off by saying Bone by Fae Myenne Ng is a good novel. The storyline is interesting, the characters are real, and the choice of words Ng uses to convey ideas to the reader are clean and beautiful.
I gave the book 3. This is the story of two generations in a Chinese family in America. At the start of the story, we are old that the middle child, Ona, committed suicide. That is not a spoiler- that fact literally hits you in the face on the first page, in the first sentence.
But Ona is not the only one with issues in this family. Every single one of them has them, and Leila looks back over the years with her family to understand where it all began. A theme I initially found was the strong desire for the characters to maintain their family. There was the desire to want to impress and feel like family. So there is some character development that is observed later in the novel. Her succinct descriptions of characters, events and locations paint a picture for readers, but at the same time, allow for readers to draw on their own personal experiences to help them understand what is taking place.
One thing I found unique was how Ng allowed readers into some of the personal issues of the characters, and others she left to be private. Some reviewers noted they were turned off by the narration moving forward and then moving back in history with no warning. I did not have an issue with this and rather saw the transition as a reflection on the current situation.
I did not find it distracting, but to each, his own.
Fae Myenne Ng