Wow, a powerful story! This novel provided a nice reminder of how blessed I am to live in a nation where I have never faced persecution for my Christian beliefs. Studying history or reading news accounts allows a spectator’s view of the persecution citizens experienced during China’s transformation to a communist regime. Through the novel, I experience the characters’ bravery and heartbreak as they face persecution, agonize over difficult decisions, and share their few resources with those who have less. Those who show the most gratitude are not those who have the most, but those who appreciate what they have.
The heart-wrenching, yet inspirational historical fiction novel takes place in China and Hong Kong between 1945 and 1975 and follows Leesan, a young widow, AnnAnn and MayMay, her identical twin daughters, and Su-Ann, her mother-in-law, among other characters close to the protagonists. Su-Ann, an extraordinary role model, exuded grace in the most difficult of situations. The communist government seized the property of all landowners and all citizens’ valuables, including Su-Ann’s possessions. At times, various characters struggle with religious doubts as they feel abandoned by God when they face the atrocities doled out by the new government.
The identical twin sisters present an interesting dynamic. Their personalities and perspective on life are very different.
The author served in churches for over thirty years and bonded with many students from Mainland China who shared stories about hardships resulting from the Cultural Revolution. Ms. Whong based Blazing China on some of these stories. Some characters in the novel engage in sexual relations outside of marriage. The encounters are not graphic and the story does not condone the activity. It is a realistic view of characters who search for validation in wrong places, but learn they can be forgiven and experience the love of Jesus.
Blazing China is expected to be released August 1, 2023, and will be available through Amazon. Be sure to get your copy. I received an Advanced Reader Copy from the author for my honest review. I am honored to have received the opportunity to preview it. I enjoyed it.