Never have I so clearly understood the feelings of strangeness and desperate loneliness inherent in immigration as when reading this beautiful book. Tan's sepia-toned faux photographs et in, idk, 1890s Shangri-La?, bring it home as no other story of immigration in any other medium has ever managed before -- at least for me personally. Because no matter how well I understand the character of Tony Tonio or Stanly Scywkzk, they're always immigrated to the US or at strangest Australia -- that
is, somewhere mostly similar to my own homeland, with words and clothing and traditions I understand. It's not the destination that is ultimately strange, but the comers.
So Tan does some amalgamation and just when I was expection New York, Ellis Islandm Lady Liberty, I'm dropped in a strange and weird and bewilderingly foreign land (check it out). I understand even less than the protag, as he struggles to make his way and earn enough money to bring his wife and child to this New World.
This book is lovely, praiseworthy, of good report.
This book pushed me to the edge of tears.
This book made me laugh out loud.