"In the tradition of Lisa See and Amy Tan, Three Souls is a captivating debut novel about a young woman who must make amends on earth to earn her entry into the afterlife"-- - (Baker & Taylor)
The ghost of a young Chinese woman is unable to enter the afterlife until she atones for her sins, but when her daughter, the sole mourner at her funeral, is in danger, she may have to sacrifice her afterlife and remain trapped on Earth to save her. - (Baker & Taylor)
The ghost of a young Chinese woman is unable to enter the afterlife until she atones for her sins, which are many, but when her 7-year-old daughter, the sole mourner at her funeral, is in danger, she may have to sacrifice her afterlife and remain trapped on earth to save her. Original. 50,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)
An absorbing novel of romance and revolution, loyalty and family, sacrifice and undying love
We have three souls, or so I'd been told. But only in death could I confirm this....
So begins the haunting and captivating tale, set in 1935 China, of the ghost of a young woman named Leiyin, who watches her own funeral from above and wonders why she is being denied entry to the afterlife. Beside her are three souls—stern and scholarlyyang; impulsive, romantic yin; and wise, shining hun—who will guide her toward understanding. She must, they tell her, make amends.
As Leiyin delves back in time with the three souls to review her life, she sees the spoiled and privileged teenager she once was, a girl who is concerned with her own desires while China is fractured by civil war and social upheaval. At a party, she meets Hanchin, a captivating left-wing poet and translator, and instantly falls in love with him.
When Leiyin defies her father to pursue Hanchin, she learns the harsh truth—that she is powerless over her fate. Her punishment for disobedience leads to exile, an unwanted marriage, a pregnancy, and, ultimately, her death. And when she discovers what she must do to be released from limbo into the afterlife, Leiyin realizes that the time for making amends is shorter than she thought.
Suffused with history and literature, Three Souls is an epic tale of revenge and betrayal, forbidden love, and the price we are willing to pay for freedom.
In the midst of civil war on the eve of the Chinese Revolution, Song Leiyin awakens to find herself rising above her own funeral. According to Chinese tradition, she joins her soul, trapped in the space between Earth and the afterlife. She must revisit her life to right whatever wrong is keeping her from going on to reincarnation. Leiyin is alternately joyful and pained as she remembers the moments of her youth. Growing up, she strained against the chains imposed by her traditional Chinese family, ultimately committing a misstep that ended in her father arranging an unwelcome marriage. But even this fate had its joys. Now endowed with the gift of hindsight, Leiyin grieves her errors and urgently strives to set things right for her family, her husband, and her young daughter before it's too late. Leiyin is a sympathetic character, and her journey of self-realization is mirrored in China's time of political upheaval as traditional culture gives way to the future. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, Janie Chang's first novel is an immersive and enjoyable read. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.