Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bitter Winds (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters, Book Three) by Kay Bratt

Kay Bratt always has a moral in her stories. I'm noticing a recurring lesson...about bitterness. The story of Li Jin and Sami here is a prime example of what bitterness can do to us if we don't let it go. Li Jin lets go and finds happiness being surrounded by her family. Though surrounded by the same family, Sami is filled with bitterness and hate.

Why? Because she won't let herself be loved and will not let herself love others. You can't be hurt that way, right?

But through her story, we see that's def not the way to live.

I should probably mention what this book is about, eh? It's present-day China and one of the scavenger's daughters, Lily, gets arrested for begging and suspicion of following Falun Gong--a peaceful religion that China's gov't has banned. While her family tries to get her out, the story with Sami and Li Jin plays out.

I hated Sami. But as with the other Kay Bratt books, while I hated her, I also saw why she is the way she is. I understood her. Her hatred is a way to fight love--which in her experience only causes pain. If you don't care for anyone, nobody can hurt you. Her sleeping with men is in her eyes, a way of taking control. She's picking and choosing her lovers, at least. It is also the only way she FEELS, so hardened she is. Her story made me sad and left me with a bitter taste. I feel it's also unresolved, but...while I wish she'd received her HEA or at least changed into a better person, at the same time--I also hope we've seen the last of her.

But my favorite story is Lily and Ivy, the twins. Lily is blind and I totally "got her". She wants so badly to be independent. As a person with a handicap myself, I understood the dilemmas she was facing every day. Sometimes we need help, but then we feel like our helper isn't letting us do anything for ourselves. It's a fine line. Helpers often end up smothering us, and at the same time we, the disabled, come across as ungrateful, only wanting other people when we need them and then pushing them away when we feel smothered or frustrated by our lack of independence. Terrific story there. I hope people catch that.

And once again, Ms. Bratt has managed to educate me, about the Chinese mental health system and the gov't corruption, about the persecution of Falun Gong followers and their "re-education". *snort*

It's sad. Very sad. Thank you, Ms. Bratt, for making us aware of it. 

Well written, suspenseful, emotional. You love some of the people, hate some others, want to slap a few of them, shake your head at times, and always, always get wrapped up in their lives and troubles and walk away enlightened.

Favorite part: (Lily and Ivy are on a bus when a rude passenger makes a comment about Lily's blindness. This is Lily's reply.)

"Forget about her. What about you? They might be able to fix her eyes someday, but you're out of luck because they can't fix stupid."


I received this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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