Canton Elegy: Review

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This book was beautifully written – there was a lot of information about the war and what the family was going through yet this book still read like a wonderfully crafted story.

The author, Stephen Jin-Nom Lee, tells the story of his life in this book. While he touches on his early and late life, most of the story takes place during the war and what his family went through during that time. And boy did they go through a lot. The family goes through one hardship after another, as they constantly have to move to different cities to escape the invading Japanese. Yet even while trekking hundreds of miles from one city to another with nothing to eat after being forced out of their house by Japanese soldiers, the family still remains remarkably optimistic.

This story inspires in the reader a sense of hope. Stephen Jin-Nom Lee writes in a relatable and easy to understand manner, allowing the reader to feel as if they were actually living throughout the war with his family.

Bottom Line: I would give this book 8/10 stars. The story is incredibly moving – it’s easy to love the family as they make the best out of every possible situation. I had a hard time putting it down.


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