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A/N: This is my first post in this community, so I apologize beforehand for any mistakes.

The End of East is a collection of memories through three generations of a Chinese family who have migrated to Canada in hopes of pursuing a more successful life. At the age of 18, with the help of his village, Seid Quan affords a boat trip across the Pacific to find himself employed in Vancouver doing small odd jobs, like cleaning stores after closing hours. He makes various trips back to China to marry and bear children, working hard to able to afford their trips to Canada, and a house sufficient enough for his family. But families aren't perfect. There are huge tensions between a father and a son who never knew him. And when that son grows up to have a family of his own, his wife changes from ideal to unstable while his mother also becomes obsessive over her power in the household. Then, the grandchildren of Seid Quan are forced to accept this unhinged family, who are quiet and hide their history, guarding them like horrible secrets. 

Written in the tradition of the Joy Luck Club, I found this novel to be better than I thought. I was impressed with its writing style and I thoroughly enjoyed the character development of each family member. Who you thought was a great person in the beginning emerges to be a horrible mother-in-law, and the relationship a father wishes to have with his son changes to mutual silence. Nobody in the family is perfect, and I thought the author did a great job depicting this unstable family as a whole. It took me a bit to understand the family relations, though, because each scene is a memory of different relatives in different times of their lives. It jumps around quite a bit in the beginning, but it gets much easier to tie things together as you continue. I enjoyed this, but it didn't leave me with any inspiration or motivation to reach out towards my own family to solve issues. I'd recommend this book for those who enjoy the dramatic family stories.

Check out the full review on my blog.

March 2014

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