What has worked:
A page-turner! I could have read it all in one sitting. I always loved the way Kon writes dialogues – be it in her novels or plays. She has this ability to make her characters deliver very natural dialogue, where they seemingly talk about nothing, but taken together, it all paints a very fascinating, descriptive imagery of what they are feeling and how they are reacting to their surroundings. Each character is so distinct. The ending was quite moving/sad. This book made me really interested in Singapore’s history and cultural connections with China at the turn of the 20th Century. The key events of the fall of the last Chinese emperor and the subsequent revolution/reform that spread throughout Malaya is not something that is mentioned much in our history texts. It has inspired me to delve a little more into this part of history to better understand how our ancestors lived then!
What did not work:
Nothing! I just wished she made this into a series, would love to know what became of the main characters.