Book Review: Like Spilled Water
by Jennie Liu
Pub Date 01 Sep 2020
Read courtesy of http://netgalley.com
This is a novel of regret, so it's a review filled with regrets.
I feel regret for the unlucky readers who found this book too long or too slow. It's not an action novel; it's an emotional one. It's reflective of the societal norms to not reveal one's troubles encapsulated into a story. I am grateful to have been able to enter and understand a world different from my own.
I regret that that I read other's reviews before reading the book; they gave away even more than the author did with her clues as to Bao-bao's fate. Jennie Liu hinted early that something was off about Na's brother's death, but she did so for literary movement, not to include a spoiler. I am grateful that the author skillfully cast doubt for the reader.
I regret Na's and Bao-bao's perceptions of their lost youth and their parents' perceptions of the purpose of children. I am grateful that the story ends with an ending that Na can live with.
I regret that Gilbert and Na's friendship encounters so many obstacles, but I am grateful that Na meets Min, who offers a different kind of friendship.
I regret watching Na and Bao-bao's unwavering parents live by ancient philosophies. I am grateful that I've been exposed to another culture's standards and been witness to how a culture changes between generations.
I regret not yet reading Liu's other book yet, "Girls on the Line." I am grateful that I now want to read more by this author, and I cannot wait to put this into the hands of my high school readers.
I regret that I cannot give "Like Spilled Water" 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for literary prose, but I'm grateful that I can for an accessible, non-judgmental, multi-story line plot that makes me think outside of myself.