Thursday, February 20, 2014

On Such a Full Sea

This is the first book by Chang-rae Lee that I've had the pleasure of reading and now I certainly plan on reading more! Lee has a beautiful way with words and they just flow on the page creating a literary masterpiece that compels you to pay attention and care about the matters at hand. It's not easy to write a book in first person plural but Lee does so, and does it so masterfully that it is almost unnoticeable.

Citizens of B-Mor (formerly Baltimore) collectively narrate the story of a young girl named Fan who leaves the safety of the compound to search for her boyfriend Reg, who has mysteriously vanished. Fan must find her way through the treacherous open counties where food is scarce, disease rampant, and crime rages. Along the way she meets many strange characters who go out of their way to help her track down Reg, even though she isn't one of them. The counties people are no doubt jealous of her "privileged" life and the Charter people would look down on her for being lower class workers.

While Fan is trying to make sense of her new surroundings, the omniscient B-Mor narrators fill is on how things have changed since Fan voluntarily left the safety of their compound. There are riots, guerrilla movements, discontent. Will it last, or will they eventually forget about Fan? Will Fan ever find Reg? Read to find out!

Even though this is a dystopian that takes place centuries away in America, it is still totally relate-able to us. Lee paints a picture of the lower, middle, and upper classes and the pitfalls of each one. It's truly ingenious and a work of art. Now I know what all the hype was about!

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