If I’m totally honest, I was quite disappointed in this book. After reading the onslaught of quotes and snippets which surrounded Braised Pork’s publication I was buzzing in anticipation of a dramatic crime/love story riddled with Chinese folklore. However, that is not what I got.
However, once I got over the initial let down and accepted that this wasn’t quite going to be the cultural tour I’d expected, I found myself absorbed in Yu’s Murakami-esque writing style. Braised Pork is punctuated by an underlying sense of foreboding and riddled with haunting surrealist metaphors. After a strong opening where the lead character, Jia Jia, finds the body of her husband face-down in the bathtub, I was sucked in. The story became a little wishy-washy in the middle section but picked up again when Jia Jia travels to Vietnam to explore her family’s past, and the mystery surrounding her husband’s unusual death.
Overall, I felt the characters needed a bit more fleshing out and that I needed the overall metaphor of the world of water to be explained more as I simply didn’t get it! Despite all this, I think An Yu is a promising author and I enjoyed her writing style. I look forwards to seeing what she comes up with next!
This wonderful novel spans generations and combines the power of 12 startling voices to share the experiences of British women of color. Mainly set in London we hear the story of a proud black lesbian playwright, her sassy super-feminist daughter and a sexually fluid millennial, just to name a couple.
It’s Black History Month in the UK and I decided this year I should finally get round to reading some of those incredible stories that I haven’t quite made time for yet.
I can definitely see why this books is a bit love it or hate it. The story of Dexter and Em is given to us in snapshots, Starting from their meeting at uni up to their late 30s, the book oozes sexual tension, but with an increasingly dark edge which reminded me of Sally Rooney’s novels.