Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Janie Chang's debut, Three Souls.
Let me just kick this off by saying, wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! I don't quite know what I expected in Three Souls. It's a debut and obviously the premise grabbed my attention early on so that I knew I wanted in on the tour. And yes, every reader goes into every book hoping it'll be fabulously wonderful and all that. But when we find one that hits the spot it's a truly excellent experience. Three Souls was that for me. Fabulously wonderful and excellent. It was the perfect book to spend my Sunday with! By the time I came up for air the day had ended and I was a little heartbroken at having turned the final page.
The year is 1935 and Leiyin has just witnessed her own funeral. She should be moving on but it seems she has something she must do first. Something she must atone for before she and her three souls may move on to the afterlife. But first, Leiyin and her souls must remember what started her on this path. What actions led to her death and what restitution is holding her back.
As they walk through her life, beginning with the year she left school, Leiyin and her souls relive her first love, the moment she turned against her father, and the consequences of doing so. She is married off to a man in a small nearby village, a man whose love she never quite accepted because she thought her heart belonged to another. And amidst a revolution, Leiyin lives out her few final years. What she discovers about herself and those around her will not only allow her make amends, but to see the things she was so blind to in life.
Oh, Three Souls was a beautiful book! A story steeped in history and family, culture and lore. A story about love and sacrifice, family and politics. And it was a heartbreaking story in so many ways (more than just by having ended!). It's only in dying that Leiyin is able to see the truth about her family. Her stepmother whose wisdom the teenage Leiyin missed out on. Her father and her older brother and their fears for what would happen to the family. Her sisters and their own struggles. Even her best friend, Nanmei.
It was sad to imagine the life Leiyin could have had if only she'd set aside her stubborn regard for an unworthy man. If only she'd opened her eyes and really seen the people who loved her most and all the opportunities missed! And while her story is certainly one filled with tragedy, Three Souls as a whole is still a wonderfully wrought story filled with hope.
To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.
To learn more about Janie Chang and her work, you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.