It is safe to say that I have not read many English books written by Malaysians (despite being a Malaysian), neither have I shown much interest in them. But I knew I just had to read this after reading JoV's review
It is sad being a Malaysian Chinese. I have learned to accept everything but that doesn't mean I give in with resignation. I believe if one were determined to thrive, regardless of the system/ country/ whatever-it-is, he or she would still make it.
Back to the book, it was awfully comforting to read the familiarity, except the parts about Shanghai (because I have yet to go there). I identified myself with Phoebe the most because I read self-help books, I rely on my personal mantras when things get tough and I do keep a goddamn diary which records everyday's challenge(s), fears and lessons learnt. As always, I was impressed with male authors who are able to narrate the emotional turmoils of the female well, particularly Yinghui's wish for a more intimate relationship with Walter.
As much as I enjoyed reading this book (I actually read it on the way to and back from work), I doubt I wanna reread. It is simply too much to go through the pain and loss suffered by the characters.