Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Indie October Review: Journey Across Four Seas by Veronica Li

Title: Journey Across Four Seas
Author: Veronica Li
Publisher: Homa & Sekey Books
Publish Date: 2006
Source: Received a copy from the author. This did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You want a book to get sucked into.
  • You love stories with vivid characters.
What's the Story?:

From "This is a true and touching story of one Chinese woman¡¦s search for home. It is also an inspiring book about human yearning for a better life. To escape poverty, Flora Li fought her way through the education system and became one of the few women to get into the prestigious Hong Kong University. When the Japanese invaded, she fled to unoccupied China, where she met her future husband, the son of China's finance minister (later deputy prime minister). 

She thought she had found the ideal husband, but soon discovered that he suffered from emotional disorders caused by family conflicts and the wars he had grown up in. Whenever he had a breakdown, Flora would move the family to another city, from Shanghai to Nanking to Hong Kong to Bangkok to Taipei and finally across the four seas to the U.S. Throughout her migrations, Flora kept her sight on one goal: providing her children with the best possible education."

My Two Cents:

I. Loved. This. Book. This is the true story of Flora Li, the author's daughter. Flora is a really amazing person. She moved all over Asia before coming to the United States. All the while, she takes care of her family and makes sure that all of her children are able to meet their full potential. I definitely found myself rooting for Flora as she faces some of the hardships in her life. Veronica Li, Flora's daughter and the author of the book, had the amazing foresight to have her mother, a fabulous storyteller in her own right, make tapes to talk about her life. I know that after my grandma passed away, I really, really found myself wishing that I would have done something like taping my grandma's story. I still remember them, of course, but they'd be so much better if I could still hear my grandma tell them somehow.

Through Flora's narration, we get a great taste of what life was like in Asia during some of our world's greatest turning points. In a way, Flora seemed to come almost before her time. She's strong and realizes how important education is for herself and for her children. The book is incredibly engaging and I was definitely sad when it ended.

Bottom line: AHHH! You all just need to read this book!


  1. Sounds like a very compelling read! I love memoirs and immigrant stories, and this sounds like a perfect combination of both.

  2. Thanks for reviewing this book. I wouldn't have found it otherwise. Now I want to read it!

  3. @Meg I have the books up for grabs on my blog today!

  4. Great review, sounds good. Glad I found your site. I am following you now, would love a follow back if possible.

  5. Good gracious, you make this sound so wonderful! I would have never heard of it had it not been for your blog highlighting it!


  6. @Joy I have a giveaway open for both of Veronica Li's books now!

  7. @SweetestLittleBookworm It's definitely a good one! I have a giveaway for both of Veronica Li's books open now!


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