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REVIEW Little Gods

On the night of June Fourth a woman gives birth in a Beijing hospital alone Thus begins the unraveling of Su Lan a brilliant physicist who until this moment has successfully erased her past fighting what she calls the mind’s arrow of timeWhen Su Lan dies unexpe Really strong idea Strong writing Interesting structure At times I struggled to hold everything together Wanted less narrative distance But still this is an excellent novel Well worth your time

SUMMARY Ñ LONDONWINCHESTERHOTEL.CO.UK ´ Meng Jin

Little Gods

Ctedly seventeen years later it is her daughter Liya who inherits the silences and contradictions of her life Liya who grew up in America takes her mother’s ashes to China Liya’s memories are joined by those of two others Zhu Wen the woman last to know Su Lan Overall I liked this book a lot This is Meng Jin s debut novel so I hope there is of writing to come in the futureYou can get a synopsis of the book from Goodreadsthe one thing that I liked was her description of certain concepts of physics The passage of time we normally think of as moving one way and she discussed through physics that is not necessarily so She did not use high faluting terms so as to discombobulate the reader who does not have a degree in physics The layout of the novel is first person narrative of different protagonists with one protagonist having one chapter and another protagonist having a different chapter It for the most part works out well What I also liked the character of Su Lan pretty much the main protagonist of the book I expected her at a certain point in the book to act in a certain way and she did notI was thrown for a loop like who I did not see that coming but the way Meng Jim wove the story plot it made a great deal of sense I would say in the first third of the book I was enthralled and relishing every word practicallythe rest of the book was very good indeedit s just that I thought the first sections of the book were stellarHere are some passages of the book that grabbed me After enrolling in and dropping out of a number of universities she finally gave up trying to earn a PhD Academia was too stiff she said too invested in it sown accolades too worshipful of tradition Especially in science which was supposed to be a revolutionary field all ambitions had been drained the only new ideas that could be accepted were specialized to the point of losing significance What she was offering would be a paradigm shift it would reuire entire textbooks to be rewritten told by Liya Su Lan s daughter JimZ so what grabbed me about this passage was the term paradigm shift There is a classic book written for folks who are interested in science but are not necessarily scientists about paradigm shifts Thomas Kuhn wrote it in 1962 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions University of Chicago Press We have to remember that there are few certitudes in sciencea theory can be over turned and long held beliefs can be stood on their head But it is hard to do given scientists who adhere to the theories and beliefs can stake their livelihood and their careers on such and it can be their stubbornness which can prevent fresh and new ways of looking at things to be seriously entertained that might threaten their theories and beliefs and with that their careers and livelihoods Modern courtship was silly whimsical almost certainly to yield disappointment It was simpler to treat a spouse as you did your own body something given If you were lucky you could learn to love it If you could not you lived with it told by Zhu Wen Su Lan s neighbor who babysat Liya After eight and a half months of pregnancy I still couldn t understand She had not wanted a child She had not wanted to leave behind any part of her biology to perpetuate herself into the future A perfect life she d said is lived and then it disappears told by YongZong Su Lan s husband In the universe there exist objects that cannot be seen or have not been seen black holes undiscovered planets massive presences of gravity that assure us of their existence simply by the way they affect the behavior of nearby lesser objects This according to my mother was the measure of an object something that exerts substantial influence over others in its field drawing continually toward itself even if ever so lightly In some ways this evidence of effects is necessary than sight An image alone could be merely a hologram a vision No scientifically speaking seeing or not seeing is not euivalent to making be or not be Rather it is the inevitable attraction and movement of that which surrounds a mass that secures its position among real things told by Liya Su Lan s daughterHere are some reviews good review a review by Gish Jen

Meng Jin ´ 1 REVIEW

Before she left China and Yongzong the father Liya has never known In this way a portrait of Su Lan emerges an ambitious scientist an ambivalent mother and a woman whose relationship to her own past shapes and ultimately unmakes Liya’s own sense of displacemen I don t know how to describe Little Gods but I liked it very much Su Lan s story is told by her neighbor friend husband and daughter None of them really has the full picture and even with all of their perspectives she is an enigma This is a puzzling unpredictable novel that pulled me into its orbit It ended leaving me disoriented and uestioning and unexpectedly moved


10 thoughts on “Little Gods

  1. says:

    Really strong idea Strong writing Interesting structure At times I struggled to hold everything together Wanted less narr

  2. says:

    Giving up at 25% I just can’t seem to connect with the distance I’m feeling from these characters

  3. says:

    As I sit down to write this review I’m struggling a bit because I’m trying to figure out what my feelings are toward this book Normally when I read a book I will either gravitate towards one side or another i

  4. says:

    Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest reviewI have a lot of complicated feelings about this one which always seems to be the case with three star books Little Gods

  5. says:

    Reading Meng Jin’s “Little Gods” was like trying to remember and to note a dream The whole novel felt dream like to me changing in time and place “Little Gods” is a story of an impoverished young Chinese girl who breaks out of her destitution by scoring well on a national exam Because of her scores she is able to receive a government sanction education She finds her passion in math Her high academic scores a

  6. says:

    Overall I liked this book a lot This is Meng Jin’s debut novel so I hope there is of writing to come in the futureYou can get a synopsis of the book from Goodreadsthe one thing that I liked was her description of certain concepts of physics The passage of time we normally think of as moving one way and she discussed th

  7. says:

    This was an elegant story about a young woman trying to understand her parents after her mother’s death She returns to China to also try to find her father The author plays a bit with time and perspective but these aspects weren’t as fully developed as I would have liked Actually a lot of the book could have been fleshed out but I really liked the writing and the concept for the story 35⭐️

  8. says:

    I don't know how to describe Little Gods but I liked it very much Su Lan's story is told by her neighbor friend husband and daughter None of them really has the full picture and even with all of their perspectives she is an enigma This is a puzzling unpredictable novel that pulled me into its orbit It ended leaving me disoriented and uestioning and unexpectedly moved

  9. says:

    With rich attentive writing Meng Jin transports us through both time and territory to late 20th century China in a novel about the complexities of long lost family ties Told as a series of stories about a mother to her daughter fro

  10. says:

    Meng Jin’s debut novel Little Gods is such a gorgeously constructed story It’s built on a sturdy frame decorated beautifully but it will have some readers scratching their heads saying but what is it What does it mean And that is to say that it is mysterious clever thought provoking and may leave you with several uestionsSu Lan