2016 Asia Weekly Top Ten Chinese Novel of the Year
In this piece of contemplative psychological fiction, touched with an almost Raymond Carver-esque flavor of self-alienation, a young woman from southern Taiwan uproots herself and moves to the North to marry a man she hardly knows. He forces his desire for solitude on her, and very soon she is a stranger in a strange land, an unintentional recluse with two children to care for and only tenuous ties to her own vital past.
Her two sons grow up, one a model child, the other a rebel. Just as the two of them start out on their own paths, their father travels to mainland China to visit relatives and never comes back. With her family scattered to the four winds, where can they call home?
Roan Ching-Yueh perfects his characteristically translucent authorial voice to this new work of introspective fiction, which observes a quotidian family from a metaphysical standpoint, penetrating as deeply as it can the mysteries of desire, memory, and attachment.