“My first meal in Beijing is roasted duck, or kaoya as it’s called in Chinese. Glossy and brown, with crisp skin and meltingly moist flesh, the bird is cut into over one hundred pieces, in the traditional way.”
Ann Mah’s novel is definitely a winner. The first words left me salivating and, as I delved into Isabel Lee’s new life in Beijing, I found myself laughing and captivated. The story begins with a twenty-something wannabe journalist, who gets herself fired from a New York fashion magazine. With a sister already in Beijing, and enough of the Chinese language to get by, this American born Chinese girl gets talked into taking the great leap of faith and moving overseas. Mah gives us a wonderful look into the life of a girl who struggles to navigate a very different culture than the one she was raised in, while at the same time establishing herself as a journalist and flirting with a romance or two.
This was an enjoyable read; I savored every minute of it!
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2010