Bette Bao Lord

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[Spring Moon] so diverts, pleasures, and instructs with decorative cultural addenda (in glossy, uncluttered prose) that it doesn't seem to matter too much that the characters emerge from … a cool, calculated, pictorial distance. Lord follows the House of Chang, a wealthy Chinese family of Soochow, from 1892 to 1972—starting with the choice of a new Patriarch. He is Bold Talent…. [However,] the Patriarch's younger brother—Noble Talent—will become a revolutionary: he barely escapes the fanatic Harmonious Fists (turn-of-the-century precursors of the Red Guards) and eventually survives to fight, however reluctantly, with the Kuomintang. Amid all these cymbal clangs of political crisis there is a grace note: pretty, graceful Spring Moon…. [Her] two children (by different fathers) will represent two contrasting forces in modern Chinese history…. With coious snatches of Chinese history, poems and folk tales, rituals leavened with warmth, humor, and nostalgia, [Spring Moon is] a gently engaging saga which offers attractive echoes of Pearl Buck as well as an agreeable sheen all its own. (pp. 1089-90)

"Fiction: 'Spring Moon'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1981 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XLIV, No. 17, September 1, 1981, pp. 1089-90.

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