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Simon Han

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1 verk 82 medlemmar 3 recensioner

Verk av Simon Han

Nights When Nothing Happened (2020) 82 exemplar

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The Chengs of Plano, Texas are not okay. Somehow they've stopped being a family and are just individuals on their own. There's Liang, who takes on the housework and childcare while nominally supervising his photography business, whose past, as a child with a mother who committed suicide during the Cultural Revolution, has scarred him in ways he's not dealing with. And there's Patty, whose green card got them all to the US, who is working long hours and has no space left to check on her family's well-being. Annabel, the daughter, who was born in the US, is struggling to find her place in the private elementary school she's attending and having trouble in how she interacts with others, And, lastly, there's Jack, who was born in China and left behind with his grandparents until his parents were settled. He's quiet and careful and is doing his best to hold his family together. And then a crisis hits them all. It will either finally bring them together or destroy this precarious family.

This is the story of an immigrant family in which the fact that they are immigrants is important, but not the focus of this novel. Instead, it's about the factors that make a family and how failures to communicate and failures to understand can build up over time.

I liked what Han is doing here and how carefully he built up each character and treated them all with such love. It's interesting to see suburban Texas chosen as the setting for this story and I enjoyed Han's descriptions of it, and how he incorporated how much of each day is spend driving around into the novel. I'm interested in what he writes next.
… (mer)
½
 
Flaggad
RidgewayGirl | 2 andra recensioner | May 18, 2021 |
The Changs live an inconspicuous life in Plano, Texas, Patty, the mother has a demanding job in the tech industry, Liang, the father looks more after the house and their two kids Jack and Annabel. Despite their Chinese background, they assimilate and fit in quite well until misunderstanding sets in motion a chain of events which throws the already fragile family equilibrium totally out of balance.

Simon Han’s novel “Nights When Nothing Happened” tackle different tricky topics such as moving to another country and trying to fit in, finding your identity when you grow up between different cultures, trying to make a living and having a family at the same time and, most of all, dealing with the fragile psyche of a child. Each chapter provides the reader with the perspective of another family member thus underlining that even though you might belong to the same family, there are always things left unsaid because they are unutterable or because you cannot find the words to express yourself, in the case of the children in the novel: because they are too afraid of saying or doing something wrong.

It wasn’t easy for me to sympathise with the characters, they were too far away from my life and unfortunately the novel, though wonderfully narrated, couldn’t bring them closer. Understanding their individual struggles and fears though was easy due to the insight in the characters’ thoughts. Many noteworthy aspects and without any doubt interesting characters, yet, somehow the novel did not really move me.
… (mer)
 
Flaggad
miss.mesmerized | 2 andra recensioner | May 5, 2021 |
I imagine this will not be a book for everyone. The title is apt. It seems like nothing is happening, but as the story builds, the reader will see the challenges the Chengs, immigrants from China, have in achieving the American Dream. When his parents moved to Texas for university and careers, their son, Jack, remained in China with grandparents. Eventually, he is reunited with his parents and jack soon has a baby sister. While everything may look fine, Patty is consumed by her job in the tech industry and is seldom home. Liang, the father, is a photographer. Both want the benefits of life in America. Preschool Annabelle is sent to a preschool for gifted children and becomes best friends with Eloise. Challenges between the two girls lead to a Thanksgiving dinner with the two families hoping to figure out what went wrong, only the dinner just creates more problems and the Chengs are forced to look at their own fractured family and decide what is important and how can immigrants with their struggles fit in to American society. This is a very thoughtful look at family sacrifices when trying to “better” themselves.… (mer)
 
Flaggad
brangwinn | 2 andra recensioner | Nov 17, 2020 |

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Statistik

Verk
1
Medlemmar
82
Popularitet
#220,761
Betyg
½ 3.3
Recensioner
3
ISBN
7

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