'Paper Wife' is a interesting narrative with a mix of historical fact and fiction. Admittedly, the exquisite cover attracted me to begin with. The setting is: 1920s China, post WW1 US (California) and the issue of immigration. It incorporates the politics, societies, cultures, traditions and behaviours of the times. The introductory statement from the US president of the time reflected the opinion of the era, and at the same time, remains topical today. Themes include: ethics, lies, hardship, resilience and maternal love. The plot: Mei Ling enters an arranged marriage with Californian, Kai Li. (The circumstances are quite complex and unfold early in the book.) She makes the voyage to the US, making two close friends during the journey. A decision Mei Ling must make has an impact on the future of herself and those connected to her. Laila Ibrahim's writing has a beautiful feel and she knows how to pull on your heartstrings while presenting perplexing issues or confronting circumstances. But she encourages empathy with a sensitive elegance and her research is outstanding. If you haven't read 'Yellow Crocus', it's well worth it. PW wasn't quite of the same standard, imo, as it lacked a little depth, a couple of questions went unanswered and the conclusion wasn't tight. Nevertheless, it was still an absolutely solid read that I engaged with and can recommend.
This is one of the most memorable books I've read. Its the story of Mei Ling who is entered into an arranged marriage to a widower in California. On her arrival she discovers that her husband isn't what he proposes to be. Mei is likely to be forced into prostitution. This book is about Mei Ling's endeavour make a real family. Beautifully written and well worth reading. I highly recommend it.
I was fascinated with the ideals that were held by Mia Ling and her trust and devotion to her idol. I so admired her resolve to undertake all adversity and build a new life so different from what she knew. I would love to meet someone like her and welcome them to a,western way of living whilst learning so much from her myself.