Monday, March 10, 2014

TLC Book Tours: Three Souls by Janie Chang

Title: Three Souls
Author: Janie Chang
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publish Date: August 20, 2013
Source: TLC Book Tours

What's the Story?:

From "We have three souls, or so I'd been told. But only in death could I confirm this ... So begins the haunting and captivating tale, set in 1935 China, of the ghost of a young woman named Leiyin, who watches her own funeral from above and wonders why she is being denied entry to the afterlife. Beside her are three souls—stern and scholarly yang; impulsive, romantic yin; and wise, shining hun—who will guide her toward understanding. She must, they tell her, make amends.

As Leiyin delves back in time with the three souls to review her life, she sees the spoiled and privileged teenager she once was, a girl who is concerned with her own desires while China is fractured by civil war and social upheaval. At a party, she meets Hanchin, a captivating left-wing poet and translator, and instantly falls in love with him.

When Leiyin defies her father to pursue Hanchin, she learns the harsh truth—that she is powerless over her fate. Her punishment for disobedience leads to exile, an unwanted marriage, a pregnancy, and, ultimately, her death. And when she discovers what she must do to be released from limbo into the afterlife, Leiyin realizes that the time for making amends is shorter than she thought.

Suffused with history and literature, Three Souls is an epic tale of revenge and betrayal, forbidden love, and the price we are willing to pay for freedom."

My Two Cents:

"Three Souls" is the story of Leiyin, a young woman in 1930s China. The 1930s were a time of great change for China and Leiyin, who is a very educated woman, is watching all of the changes. The title of the book comes from Leiyin being a ghost. In China, some believe that you really have three souls, all with different attributes. I love historical fiction and I love magical realism so this book was a perfect pick for me!

"Three Souls" begins as Leiyin and her souls are looking back on her life after she passes away. A big part of the book is how you can't truly understand all of the things that happened or did not happen for you until you can truly take stock of your life at the end. It's definitely an interesting idea. I loved Leiyin's character. She starts out only really caring about herself but she realizes how silly she has been as younger person with so much going on politically in China (the revolution was happening at the time). She is married off and begins to realize how horrible she has been. Leiyin isn't always likeable but I really enjoyed seeing how she changed throughout the book.

I really don't read enough historical fiction set in Asia at all. I love when I do get a chance to read a book set in Asia. Chang wove a lot of interesting facts about China's revolution into this book that I loved reading about. The detail was oh so good and made this historical fiction reader's heart very happy.

Magical realism is still one of my favorite elements in any book. I was not familiar with the idea of multiple souls before. I loved how Chang was able to make it feel really real. I think having Leiyin re-visit her life with the three souls also gave the book a really unique perspective.

This is a great historical fiction book with a little bit of magic and awesome detail!

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Tuesday, February 25th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, February 26th: Doing Dewey
Thursday, February 27th: From L.A. to LA
Monday, March 3rd: A Reader of Fictions
Tuesday, March 4th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, March 5th: Man of La Book
Thursday, March 6th: Drey’s Library
Monday, March 10th: A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, March 11th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, March 12th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, March 13th: The Blog of Lit Wits
Monday, March 17th: Savvy Verse & Wit
Tuesday, March 18th: Ageless Pages Reviews


  1. This sounds a very interesting story.

  2. This sounds fascinating. It's not a place in time I know a whole lot about, so I'd love to learn something more. And I like the sound of the premise, even though I don't usually gravitate toward magical realism. I'll keep this one in mind!

  3. I don't read enough book set in Asia either. As a historical fiction fan it sounds like I really need to read this one!

    Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

  4. Ahhhh! I want to read this so badly! The fact that you like it so much just cements the fact that it needs to be at the tippy top of my TBR!


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