Peach Spring Blossom by: Melissa Fu
Published on: March 15, 2022
“To know a story is to stroke the silken surfaces of loss, to feel the weight of beauty in his hands. To know a story is to carry it always, etched in his bones, even if dormat for decades.”
Every so often a book becomes more than just a book. This is one of those times. The story was mesmerizing and if I’m honest there were occasions it left me an emotional wreck. I was completely captivated from the first two sentences. But it wasn’t necessarily always from the story, although it was rather good. But instead, it was gradual as I began to understand its message and meaning.
The Peach Blossom Spring follows a family’s journey starting during Japan’s invasion of China in 1938 all the way to 2005. We watch Meilin struggle as she goes from a life of peace and security to having to flee war and learn how to survive. The character, Meilin, is simply incredible in her resiliency. She picks herself up again and again and again and it was awe-inspiring. The story and pacing is at its strongest in her sections. The emotional trauma she, her four-year old son, and her extended family experienced were heart-breaking and at times tore me to pieces.
I would love to say that the end of the war brought peace and security back to Meilin’s life. While no longer having to dodge bombs, she and her son are now faced with a changing political landscape with the upcoming communist party. I can’t pretend to fully understand everything in these sections, but the growing stress they experience begins to feel real. And through it all, they continue to learn how to survive.
Eventually, the story perspective changes to Renshu when he goes to America, later followed by his daughter Lily. And although the political landscape is peaceful, Renshu still lives with fear. Fear that follows him and haunts him for decades to come. Memories that he can’t talk about. His past trauma begins to not only affect his relationship with Lily, but also affects how she views herself.
I loved this book. I loved how it takes a look at the trauma that one family endured and shows how this type of stress and trauma can continue to play out decade after decade. Generation after generation. At the end, the author tells us that it was her own desire to celebrate her father’s life after all the turmoil he went through that led to this book. Even though the story is fictional she spent a lot of time learning about the personal experiences from those who lived through it. I just wanted to tell her thank you and that I’m grateful she took the time to share this story with us.
Rating: 5 stars