By Kenneth Wayne KW’s Rating:
The Same Moon was a delight to read.
At times I felt it was a little over reliant on minutiae, but such detail did help make the the life of Pearl Zhang come alive. While reading, I was able to inhabit the body of the protagonist and see the world through her eyes. I was able to enter the mind of a girl growing up in the final years of China under Mao and share the highs and lows she experienced maturing in that environment. It was intriguing to discover that even in a so-called State-dominated society, the loves and hates that develop between those interacting with you predominate in much the same way as they do in a supposedly freer society. Ms. Kirk made it possible for me to experience what life was like in world far removed from my own, but full of 90% of the same daily anxieties, hopes and ambitions that dominated my own experience of growing up. I loved the way Pearl would periodically display ethnocentric notions of psychological qualities she believed to be uniquely Chinese, but which turned out to be similar to some that I believed to be unique to the local community in the U.S. in which I was raised. Pearl may have grown up in China during the seventies and eighties, while I grew up in a rural community in the western U.S. during the fifties and sixties; even so, we experienced 90% or more of the same hopes, dreams, hassles, and setbacks. Regardless the differences in countries, political systems and even gender, I could relate with almost everything in this novel.
The only parts that put a definite gulf between us were the few times that the writer felt it necessary to have Pearl bask in the “elite” aspects of her educational background. I myself have been far from being an “elite” in anything. Even in this regard, though, I could understand the rationale for making this uniqueness plain. After all, at the time, Pearl would have been unable to study in England if she had not excelled in the Chinese educational system. Therefore, her being a member of an “educational elite” was such a prominent part of her life.
Most of the second part of the book focuses on her life living in Scotland and England. It was fascinating to read her experiences as she matured and assimilated, but, for me, the depiction of life growing up in China was the best part of the novel. It was the part that made it clear to me that we do live under the same moon. I’m looking forward to reading the next volume of this trilogy.
Author Bio: Born and raised on the West Coast of the United States. Has spent the past couple of decades in Asia. Has written five novels, dozens of stories, a novel-length travelogue, and two ESL textbooks.
Kenneth Wayne is the founder of the Electronic Text and Literature Cloud (eTLC). Use eTLC to discover the work of independent (indie) authors. The majority of writing on this cloud is available in a digitalized format, which provides indies a viable medium to distribute their work. Our focus is self-published material since we believe it remains closer to the “vision” of the writer than work reshaped by publishers with “elusive” marketing goals.
Junying’s Note: I would like to express my deep, heart-felt gratitude to Kenneth Wayne, for reading my debut novel, writing this fabulous review and giving me permission to publish it on my site. His support to Indie authors are legendary, and I would encourage readers to visit his super cool site eTLC, and check out wonderful reads of different genres by a wide range of talented Indie authors.
There are many more great reviews for both My Books. Why don’t you take a look at them as well while you’re here Thanks & Happy Reading!