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Random House LLC
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Green Island: A novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 400 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The story is told through the perspective of a baby girl born on the night of the first uprising and continues throughout her life as she grows and watches the evolution of politics in Taiwan from near, then abroad as an American in California, married to an activist professor.
The history lesson itself is in depth and worth reading. The personal story is where I started to feel a bit annoyed. Our narrator is constantly making excuses for her poor decisions. I did not enjoy her story so much.
An interesting read, and well written though.
The book is narrated by the doctor's daughter, who grows up witnessing her father's paranoia and trauma, only to experience it first-hand decades later when she marries a political activist from Taiwan who teaches at Berkeley and becomes a person of interest to the Taiwanese government. Just when the reader suspects that the dramatic stakes will diffuse and these characters will finally be given their hard-won "freedom" from these buffering political tides, as in Ryan's first novel WATER GHOSTS, the author ups the ante and drives toward a devastating climax that this reader will be remembering for years to come.
The "inconclusive" feeling pervades every situation in the book: the terror experienced by Taiwanese citizens, the arranged marriage of the protagonist; her uncommitted life in the US; her feelings for her husband; her family's support for a revolutionary fighting against the Taiwanese dictator; her betrayal of the revolutionary and her ability to salve her conscience; her continued ability to understand the impact of things happening around her, even though she is the one describing the events.
I was constantly wondering why I kept reading this book, but did hoping that I would gain an understanding of this country I know so little about. I just came away feeling "inconclusive."