Book 148: "Green Island" by Shawna Yang Ryan
Author: Shawna Yang Ryan
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Read In: ePub
Genre: Historical Fiction
Green Island is a novel that begins with the February 28 Incident of Taiwan. (I didn't know about this event, so if you don't know either, here's the Wikipedia link : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_28_Incident)
The story is told primarily from the point of view of the youngest daughter born during the February 28 Incident into the family of Dr. Tsai. It tells the story of her father's internment, her family's escape from Taipei, and follows her as she grows to adulthood and through her emigration to the United States.
This book is well written. I like that it provides insight into a piece of history which, due to American politics of the time, is often overlooked by history classes. I honestly know very little about Taiwan's history; this book made me want to learn more.
While many of parts of this book were interesting, I found the book to be mostly boring. I liked the characters and enjoyed watching the main character, who remains unnamed, grow through life. However, the story never really grabbed me. I also found myself wondering exactly what the point of the book was. It either lacks focus or is trying to cover too many themes within it's story-line. I felt that while the themes connect to each other, the reader's ability to explore the issues within were hindered by the attempt to cover too many on a somewhat shallow level. Which brings me to my next issue in the book. I couldn't immerse myself because the story seemed shallow. I felt like there was so much more than what was being told; a feeling I don't like having while reading.
Overall, this book was okay. I didn't hate it. I didn't love it. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but wouldn't tell someone to not read it. It really just ended up being a neutral read for me.