I discovered this book accidentally by a referral through a book group I generally don’t pay enough attention to. I won’t be making that mistake again.
Confucius Says is a heartbreaker of a novel. Some people reacted to the choice of the picture on the cover. I thought is that what he really looked like? It sort of resembled a Chinese rapper.
I generally don’t read books because of their covers. I read them for the stories between the covers. There was a culture clash between Eastern and Western beliefs about how to care for their aging parents. It looked like there was no way that both sides could come to an understanding of how best to do that. When Cary realized that her parents needed more care than she could provide and her husband issued an ultimatum, I wasn’t sure what would happen next. She had already been doing it for seven years, and I wasn’t sure whether there was a compromise that would work for Cary and Steve that her parents would agree to.
A pivotal point was definitely when the parents moved into the assisted living, and Cary realized how many people it actually took to help her provide support and care for her parents. I knew then that she had found that place she needed to get to so that she could supervise the care instead of trying to provide it all by herself.
There were some storytelling devices that worked really well for me. When the dog Laozi spoke his perspective on the changes each family member had gone through over the seven years, that part of the story was made more clear because it was someone speaking from the “outside” of the human family unit. Ming-Jen and Tak’s final scenes were lyrical and hopeful, rather than being a downer.
I learned about another culture by reading this book, and I learned how to see the world through others’ eyes. This book is a winner!