Book Review: Three Souls by Janie Chang

March 5, 2014

Three Souls by Janie Chang is a novel taking place in China before World War II. This is Ms. Chang’s debut novel.

The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post.

  • 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1443423904

Book Review: Three Souls by Janie Chang

My rat­ing for Three Souls 4

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Three Souls by Janie Chang is a very lyrical, poignant and interesting novel which give the uniformed reader, such as myself, an interesting background about recent Chinese history and culture. While the book does not delve into much philosophy, it does give a certain reference about the looming Japanese invasion, people’s fears and the struggle between the Nationalists and the Communists.

The novel is told through the eyes of the protagonist, Leiyin, who is spending the time in the afterlife, reflecting back on her life and trying to atone for something she has done wrong. The reader doesn’t know what she is trying to atone for until the end.

I liked the way the author captures the afterlife, with the three spirits who guide us through life, are also our guide in the afterlife, each with their own unique personality and advice. The author builds her characters well, while I didn’t connect with any of them (usually the sign that I won’t like a book), I did feel as if I know them and cared about them. Leiyin struggles to get her message from a state of limbo to the living were poignant and the solution was unique and interesting.

The book lagged at some points, interestingly at the second quarter, but I did enjoy reading the novel and learning about Chinese culture, history and belief system. I am looking forward to read more books by the author.

In China, 1935, Leiyin watches her own funeral and wanders why she has not been permitted to the afterlife. Leiyin discovers that she is not alone; three souls are there to guide her along the way until she make amends. But first she has to find out what she has to make amends for.

During her life, Leiyin fell in love with a radical communist named Hanchin, but at the cost of disappointing her family and punished for disobedience and ultimately he death. Slowly Leiyin discovers what she must do to exit limbo and go on to the afterlife.

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  • Give­away ends: March 12, 2014

  • US/Canada Ship­ping Addresses Only

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Congratulations: mistyharms@

TLC Book Tour for Three Souls by Janie Chang :

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free fromTLC Book Tours.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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  • Heather J @ TLC Book ToursMarch 7, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I’m glad to see that you cared about the characters even though you didn’t really identify with any of them.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  • Katie @ Doing DeweyMarch 9, 2014 at 2:43 am

    You’re right, we do generally agree about this book! In just the first sentence, you highlight my two favorite things about the novel – the beautiful writing and the fascinating perspective on China 🙂

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