Yay! My second post of the day! It’s rare for me to finish two books in one day, but I felt the need…the need to read.
My latest book is also a rarity for me–a work of nonfiction. As I’ve mentioned before, reality isn’t really my thing, so nonfiction is not typically something I’m drawn to. I made an exception for Moying Li’s Snow Falling in Spring. This book is a moving account of her life in China during the tumultuous Cultural Revolution.
I’m ashamed to admit that I knew next to nothing about this period in Chinese history, especially since I was a political science major and am a former social studies teacher. This period of time is often glossed over if it’s even covered at all in many high school and college classes. Unless one goes looking for information on this time period, one may remain as woefully ignorant as I was. Now that I have read Snow Falling in Spring, I have a new appreciation for the struggles of the Chinese people who lived under the rule of Mao Zedong. I did know that he was a horrible dictator, but I was unaware of what really happened while he was leader. I was saddened and moved by Li’s tales of what her life was like: her grandmother denounced, her father sent to a labor camp, people she knew committing suicide when pushed too far by the government. Her childhood was cut short by politics that she knew little of and was certainly too young to understand fully.
There is, however, hope in this story. Li found solace and peace in learning. She read all that she could, even when her precious books were banned or destroyed. She did all she could to read everything she could get her hands on. This was truly inspirational for me. I don’t think many American students realize how lucky they are to have such ready access to any book they may desire. Snow Falling in Spring may help to open their eyes a bit.
I would definitely recommend this book to any and all readers. The writing is simple yet poetic, and Moying Li draws the reader into her life as a child and young adult during a dark period of Chinese history.