Friday, June 13, 2014

Blog Tour: The Year She Left Us by Kathryn Ma

Author: Kathryn Ma
Publisher: Harper
Date of publication: May 2014

The Kong women are in crisis. A disastrous trip to visit her “home” orphanage in China has plunged eighteen-year-old Ari into a self-destructive spiral. Her adoptive mother, Charlie, a lawyer with a great heart, is desperate to keep her daughter safe. Meanwhile, Charlie must endure the prickly scrutiny of her beautiful, Bryn Mawr–educated mother, Gran—who, as the daughter of a cultured Chinese doctor, came to America to survive Mao’s Revolution—and her sister, Les, a brilliant judge with a penchant for ruling over everyone’s lives.

As they cope with Ari’s journey of discovery and its aftermath, the Kong women will come face-to-face with the truths of their lives—four powerful, intertwining stories of accomplishment, tenacity, secrets, loneliness, and love. Beautifully illuminating the bonds of family and blood, The Year She Left Us explores the promise and pain of adoption, the price of assimilation and achievement, the debt we owe to others, and what we owe to ourselves. Full of pathos and humor, featuring a quartet of unforgettable characters, it marks the debut of an important new voice in American fiction.

I was looking forward to reading The Year She Left Us.  It got great reviews and looked promising. Sadly, it just didn't do it for me.  I had a hard time getting into the story.  I kept putting it down and finally gave up about a third of the way in. 

Honestly, I'm not sure I can pinpoint the exact reason why. The story was kind of dull. I couldn't connect with the characters. I thought they were all kind of depressing.  I have no experience with adoption, especially international adoption, but Ari came across to me as ungrateful.  I get that she wanted to know more about her identity, but did she have to be such a jerk to her adoptive mother?  I was put off by it and found myself not caring about her.  

This is definitely one of this books you need to try out for yourself.  Based on what I have seen from other reviews, you will either connect with it or you won't.  Check out the tour list below to see what others are saying.

About the author:

Kathryn Ma is the author of the story collection All That Work and Still No Boys, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award. The book was named a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Discoveries Book. She is also the recipient of the David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction. Before becoming a writer, Ma was a partner in a California law firm. She lives with her family in San Francisco. This is her first novel.

Find out more about Kathryn at her website, follow her on Twitter, and connect with her on Facebook.

Kathryn’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, May 13th: Books in the City
Thursday, May 22nd: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, May 27th: River City Reading
Wednesday, May 28th: A Patchwork of Books
Monday, June 2nd: Drey’s Library
Tuesday, June 3rd: BookNAround
Monday, June 9th: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, June 10th: red headed book child
Wednesday, June 11th: Olduvai Reads
Thursday, June 12th: Book-alicious Mama
Friday, June 13th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, June 13th: Turn the Page
Tuesday, June 17th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, June 19th: The Infinite Shelf

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.