Peach Blossom Spring
***A RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB PICK***
‘Glorious and tender . . . I finished it with tears in my eyes’ JENNIFER SAINT
‘A stunning achievement’ CHRISTY LEFTERI
‘An immersive, expertly plotted and elegantly written novel ‘ SHARLENE TEO
With every misfortune there is a blessing and within every blessing, the seeds of misfortune, and so it goes, until the end of time.
China, 1938: Meilin and her four-year-old son, Renshu, flee their burning city as Japanese forces advance. In their perilous journey across the country seeking refuge, they find comfort and wisdom in their most treasured possession – a beautifully illustrated hand scroll, filled with ancient fables.
Years later, separated from his mother by thousands of miles, Renshu now calls himself Henry Dao. His daughter, Lily, is desperate to understand her place in the world, but Henry refuses to share with her the fear and tragedy that mar his past.
Spanning continents and generations, Peach Blossom Spring is a bold and moving story of the sacrifices we make to protect our children. It’s about the power of our past, the hope for a better future, and the search for a place to call home.
‘Magical and powerful’ Nguyen Phan Que Mai, author of THE MOUNTAINS SING
‘Beautifully rendered’ Georgia Hunter, author of WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES
‘Captivating from beginning to end’ Mira T Lee, author of EVERYTHING HERE IS BEAUTIFUL
‘A brilliant multigenerational tale’ Mary Lynn Bracht, author of WHITE CRYSANTHEMUM
‘Accomplished and utterly gripping’ Catherine Menon, author of FRAGILE MONSTERS
I absolutely adored this novel about love and war, migration and belonging. I walked with the characters, felt what they felt. They took me with them on their incredible journey. During moments of deep sadness and loss, there is also beauty - the beauty of enduring love, of identity, of hope. Melissa Fu portrays the time, the culture, the place and the struggles of this family so vividly, with nuance and colour and life. Her writing is subtle and powerful, it stays with you, it follows you like the smell of the peach blossoms, it evokes emotions and questions and enlightens you. This is such a stunning achievement! -- Christy Lefteri, author of THE BEEKEEPER OF ALEPPO What an immersive, expertly plotted and elegantly written novel. In its sweep and scope, it would appeal to fans of Madeleine Thien and Min Jin Lee and its lyrical voice - championing the vitality and ingenuity of the immigrant experience across three settings - confirms Melissa Fu as a writer to watch. -- Sharlene Teo, author of PONTI Unputdownable. The settings are so vibrant and Meilin and her son Renshu so tenderly evoked it's as though we're enduring their extraordinary struggle for survival with them -- Rachel Hore, author of LAST LETTER HOME This intricately woven journey of four generations of a family buffeted by the complex tectonics of 20th century China and the US is so well told that I often paused to admire Fu's poetic magic in bringing her characters and real historical moments to life -- Helen Zia, author of LAST BOAT OUT OF SHANGHAI: THE EPIC STORY OF THE CHINESE WHO FLED MAO'S REVOLUTION A rich, sprawling saga straddling continents, decades and fractured histories, Melissa Fu has written a gorgeous book of family love and loss. Fu braids together historical details with characters whose hopes and fears pull you along on every page, and leave you wanting more -- Te-Ping Chen, author of LAND OF BIG NUMBERS Expansive, atmospheric, and affecting. Peach Blossom Spring shows just how much the human heart can hold, and it left me breathless. -- Susie Yang, author of WHITE IVY It's hard to believe this is a debut novel so accomplished is [Fu's] multi-generational family saga steeped in place and full of insightful political history. A new literary star dazzles in this stunning debut. -- Paul McVeigh Tender and graceful, this vivid historical novel shows the cost of war while celebrating the resilience of the human spirit and the life-affirming gifts of storytelling. -- Eithne Farry * The Mirror * A sweeping epic that transports the reader from war-torn China, where a mother consoles her son with ancient fables while they seek refuge, through to modern-day America, where a little girl searches for her identity and the secrets of her father's history. Melissa Fu effortlessly conjures a world rich in texture, taste and detail in this gentle, heartfelt and moving story. It's glorious and tender, exquisitely written and beautifully nuanced. I finished it with tears in my eyes and will be recommending it to everyone I know -- Jennifer Saint, author of ARIADNE Accomplished and utterly gripping, Peach Blossom Spring had me hooked, and completely unable to put it down until I'd finished. Crossing multiple generations and continents, this is the story of a single family living through war, heartbreak and passion. The full political complexity of twentieth-century Chinese history is here, and Fu effortlessly transports the reader into the mind of Meilin, a young girl living through it. We see how her devotion and the trauma she undergoes echoes through the generations of her family. Her son, Henry, is caught between two worlds and longs to be able to leave his past behind. Fu imbues all her characters with real, complex personalities and desires, which makes this a compulsive read. One of my best books of the year -- Catherine Menon, author of FRAGILE MONSTERS A beautifully rendered meditation on the trials and triumphs of a family torn apart by war, Peach Blossom Spring left me pondering how the stories we choose to pass down have the power not only to define us, but to buoy us -- to help us persevere through the most challenging of times -- Georgia Hunter, author of WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES A brilliant multigenerational tale that stretches across the decades from pre-WWII China to post-Cold War America. A captivating debut, Fu's novel is full of dynamic characters whose lives fill the pages with beauty and tragedy that tug on our heartstrings as they flee an everchanging China into the precarious worlds of first Taiwan and then America. It's a timely story of displaced Chinese immigrants searching for home and identity after war and revolution ravage their homeland -- Mary Lynn Bracht, author of WHITE CRYSANTHEMUM Melissa Fu chronicles a tumultuous period in Chinese history with stunning grace, while also offering us a fresh and important take on the immigrant story. In Dao Renshu's family journey-fleeing from China during WWII, then finding and refinding himself in America-I recognized so many pieces of my own. Captivating from beginning to end -- Mira T Lee, author of EVERYTHING HERE IS BEAUTIFUL Magical, and powerful, Peach Blossom Spring brings to life the costs of wars and conflicts while illuminating the spirit of human survival. Inspired by her father's real-life experiences and her determination to comprehend her family's past, Melissa Fu has gifted us with a timely, moving, and universal novel -- Nguyen Phan Que Mai, author of THE MOUNTAINS SING Unputdownable. The settings are so vibrant and Meilin and her son Renshu so tenderly evoked it's as though we're enduring their extraordinary struggle for survival with them -- Rachel Hore, author of A BEAUTIFUL SPY
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