Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Book Review: The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

A Chinese-American boy, abandoned by his mother at age 11, is ultimately adopted by a white couple in upstate New York. He spends his years wondering why his mother left and learning to adapt to his new surroundings. However, adoption and abandonment being such complicated experiences, his adaptation is never easy. Essentially the rest of his life constitutes a search for his "real self." He is never quite sure which culture is his: the Chinese culture of his first 11 years spent in New York City, or the white-American-suburban culture of his second half of life. The ramifications of abandonment and adoption are immense. This book is so well written! I loved the language. The nuances of emotions in the various characters, and inter-play between characters, were masterfully done. This is author Lisa Ko's first novel. I hope she keeps writing.

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