Monday, February 21, 2022

Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu. ~ Book Review

Beautiful & Timely
Peace Blossom Spring is a beautifully written story about family ties, the effects of world, civil war when it is impossible to know who can be trusted, a mother's strength and determination, the value of stories that resonate throughout a lifetime, resilience, memories, happiness in small things, and the immigrant experience in America. 

So much of this saga feels personal. I had the good fortune to spend two years in Taiwan followed by three years in Hong Kong and had conversations with people who lived through much of what Renshu and Meilin experienced in Peach Blossom Spring. The fears of government retaliation against family if one says the wrong thing. The identity crisis of what it means to be Chinese, how foreign students visiting China were treated as foreign dogs, how the Taiwan people never truly rest while PRC continues the threat of reunification…a nightmare of more than 70 years. 

I love the stories from the precious scroll that Meilin tells Renshu through their journey. 

And this quote makes my heart sing: "Within every misfortune there is a blessing and within every blessing, the seeds of misfortune. And so it goes, until the end of time." I usually pass along books to share with others. But this one I will keep.

Thank you to and  Publisher Little Brown & Co. for a free copy of the galley in exchange for an honest review. Peach Blossom Spring will be published in the USA in March 2022

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Disheartened by Continued Political Division


The current political climate in the USA continues to baffle me. We are a people who engaged in revolution to become an independent nation where all people have the opportunity to be who they want to be. Yes, we have a sad history that did not recognize the freedom of all. But the strides we’ve made brings joy to my heart. I truly believe that most Americans believe in the words of the Declaration of Independence that all of us are created in the eyes of God as equals. 

There have been dark periods. But…today, I still believe that there is no where else on earth where the individual can overcome birth and achieve whatever he or she aspires to achieve. 

Think! 60 years ago it was a triumph that John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, was elected President. That was barrier breaking. LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That was barrier breaking. Barack Obama was elected President twice! That was barrier breaking. Most people that voted against Obama didn’t care about his race. They disagreed with his political views.

Yes, there are troglodytes among us. There will always be narrow minded idiots. We will never agree as a people on every issue. That is the human condition. 

But, consider what it would be like to live in China, Russia, Afghanistan or Iran where there are no civil rights. Imagine living in Ukraine or Taiwan or South Korea where other despots want to invade and usurp legitimate governments. I have lived in those at risk countries. I loved Hong Kong and cry for the people being repressed and subjugated. I cannot imagine the people of Taiwan being controlled by PRC. 

We have freedom. It is not perfect, but I defy you to give an example of a better place to live, a place with more freedoms and more opportunities to be who you want to be. It is easy to criticize if you’ve not experienced the worst the world had to offer. Really, take a bus tour of a major capital where they drive by a prison and caution that anyone arrested will never leave alive. Watch the movie Midnight Express, based on fact, it will open your eyes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Capitalism With a Conscience


I believe in capitalism with a conscience. My husband thinks I should refrain from political commentary in this hyper sensitive age to avoid potential professional backlash. But, that is not how I am wired. My parents never stepped away from the fray if they held strong feelings. I’ve lived in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The saber rattling by Peoples Republic of China ( ‘PRC’) is at its most distressing since Tiananmen Square. At that time I was an expatriate living in Taipei. Taiwan was a fledgling democracy that had made huge political and economic strides since that time. Hong Kong was the most capitalistic place I’d ever experienced. The energy of the place was thrilling. I loved every second of my three years in Hing Kong despite personal turmoil. 

The British and PRC made a deal to preserve the freedoms of Hong Kong for 50 years. PRC has breached the agreement. I am not surprised. PRC never intended to comply. PRC has always threatened Taiwan and refuses to recognize Taiwan as a free and independent Republic. The western world has failed Taiwan and Hong Kong by pandering to PRC for money. It is a disgrace. It is inconceivable that any free government with any sense of honor would continue to support this oppressive regime. 

Apparently few remember the Cultural Revolution, the starvation of millions of citizens, the reeducation camps, the theft of personal property, the execution of intellectuals, the continued theft of intellectual property, and the wrongful arrests and repression of private citizens that oppose freedom. 

Coca Cola, P & G, the NBA, Nike, NBC, the Biden’s and multitudes of other American corporations do not need China to return dollars to stockholders. Pandering to China is anathema to the American psyche. The only explanation is greed. Pure and simple greed. I will not watch the Olympics. I will not buy goods from pandering organizations. 

And anybody who ignores the plight of the Uyghurs is no better than those who turned a blind eye to Hitler. Shame!