Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin

Starry River of the SkyI found this book on a list of recommended titles, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Rendi runs away from his father, an evil magistrate, and he ends up in the Village of Clear Sky. He notices that the moon has disappeared, and he hears the sky crying and moaning in the night. It seems as though no one else even notices. Most of the villagers have unhappy dispositions, and everyone is constantly arguing. Then, Madame Chang shows up and things start to happen. She tells the characters stories, and she makes Rendi tell stories too. The stories can teach them lessons, if they'll only listen and understand the messages.

The whole book reads like a folktale, and there are shorter folktales throughout it. The plot isn't overly suspenseful, but it is well-written. You will need to do some thinking as you read, because the shorter tales have a great deal of symbolism. They make connections with the larger plot, and the truth should be evident in the end. Forgiveness is an important lesson to be learned.

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