Naomi reviews Do Not Say We Have Nothing


donotsaywehavenothing-canadianedition Naomi has now completed her Shadow Giller reading with this fine review of Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing, a book she describes as:

…one (extended) family’s experience during the cultural revolution in China. More deeply, it’s about what happens when people don’t have the freedom to live the way they want; to choose their work, where they live, and even who they live with.

Naomi found a lot to like in the book, including its scope, the narrator in the present and the passion brought to bear on the subject by the author. She also found it deeply moving.

But was there anything she didn’t like about the book?

Let me start by saying that it took me a full week to read this book, and I didn’t even mind; most of the time I was completely absorbed. But… there were a couple of parts that I felt were lagging, particularly in the development of the relationships between Sparrow, Zhuli and Kai and their many trips to the conservatory and their many practice sessions. This review at The Walrus suggests that the book is too wordy, however I think that might be a matter of taste; some people seem to have loved every word while others felt the book was too long. So don’t let this stop you from reading the book – it’s an experience that you won’t want to miss.

To read Naomi’s review in full, please visit her blog Consumed by Ink.


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