Saturday, April 30, 2011

Book Review: The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters by Alicia Hou

Title: The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters
Author: Alicia Hou
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc. (August 25, 2010)


★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

The story is about a Chinese mother, Lotus, who was forced to abandon her daughters and son once the Communists implemented the one-child policy in China. This is narrated by Mimi, Lotus's daughter by her American husband, Jim.

For 20 years, Mimi and Gigi (Lotus's first daughter from her first marriage - Chinese husband) were not aware that they have sisters and a brother left in China. This secret was revealed to them when they consulted a fortune-teller. Upon knowing this secret, they traveled to Panama and China to see their other siblings.

I liked the story. It was the unique storytelling with the character sketches that made it such an enjoyable read. However, as the story continues, I found it hard to remember all the characters, I had to go back to the introduction once in a while to help me remember them. I also noticed that the author made too many conflicts in the story which were easily resolved. No time for the reader to wonder where the story is heading because the author provided them for the reader. Lastly, the writing style is basic with too much dialogue. The dialogue should read as real speech and would have been better if there are expressions that people use when they're talking to each other.

Aside from the things mentioned above, it was still a beautiful story of love, loss, and forgiveness.

About the book:

When the Communists took over China and the strict implementation of the one-child policy was put to practice, the Chinese were greatly affected. Some of them were forced to commit abortion, abandon their daughters (because most of them prefer sons), and flee to other countries, where they were guaranteed with safety and a normal way of life.

Lotus Kingsbury, a Chinese woman, is married to Jim Kingsbury, a Caucasian. They live in Los Angeles together with their daughter, Mimi, and Lotus's daughter from her first marriage, Gi-Gi. For twenty years, Lotus kept her secret that she, in fact, has three more children from her previous marriage with T. X. Chen.

Lotus's secret has been revealed when Gi-Gi consults a fortuneteller. Gi-Gi meets her other siblings, but conflicts occur among them and their mother. With the help of the fortuneteller and the Chinese belief of karma, all the family members get through the turmoil of life.

Chinese tradition, customs, and beliefs--karma, virginity, reincarnation, etc. may be peculiar to some nationalities, but to them, they are unique, lifesavers, and lessons that should be taught in general. - Amazon

About the author:

Born in China, Alicia Hou presently resides in Los Angeles, California and works for an insurance firm. Her grandmother, her Chinese upbringing, and her experiences inspired her to write this book, which focuses on the power of karma, family, and friendship. Aside from English, she is also fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish.

Per the author's point of view, causing many new born girls missing in China is not the government's fault; it is the consequence of the cruel son-preference culture. Very soon, 25% or more Chinese single male will face difficulties of finding a wife. The author hopes the Chinese parents learn to treasure their daughters from now. - Amazon

I received a review copy of this book free from the author, Alicia Hou. The review posted above is based on my  personal thoughts while reading the book.


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