Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book 4 - Bound by Donna Jo Napoli - China, Ming Dynasty

Xing Xing is a young woman, an orphan, someone who is really no one. Her father believed in educating his daughters, he refused to have her feet bound, yet his untimely death left her caught in a society which sees these two liberties as huge impediments to the most important thing a young woman can do - get married. Xing Xing's step mother is determined to see her own daughter, Wei Ping, married off and so has bound her feet. Xing Xing must complete the work of both girls as her step sister is in so much pain she cannot walk. Yet we see that this amazing person has no anger or jealousy against her sister or step mother. Her spirit is gentle and loving. Xing Xing is a very memorable character who may be bound to a life of sevitude, bound to be alone and unmarried yet her spirit certainly is unincumbered.

"Xing Xing squatted by the water, silent and unmoving. Her stillness was a prayer"

I really enjoyed the poetry of Napoli's writing. This is a true Cinderella tale with the extremes of self interest and unselfish loving shown fully. Napoli not only draws very vivid characters but also shows the culture of the Chinese Ming Dynasty.

To look inside - Amazon and for a more detailed book review try TeenReads