Monday, October 24, 2016

Love that Transcends Death

Brief Review: The Rage of Plum Blossoms by Christina Whitehead

The only reviewers making fun of this Kindle-Scout-selected novel's title will be either cold-hearted anti-romantics, or those who have not read it. 

Rage is a normal response when your world has been irretrievably upset, and Quinn Jones Chang has lost not only her husband, but her best friend, her true love, and her sense of place in the community, all at the same time. It does not help that her husband's family and his best friend "from the womb" Harry Chin all believe, like the police, that Jordan Chang committed suicide by diving head-first from their second-floor balcony.

Like the plum, Quinn will persist through the chill of this emotional winter. She will find support from a strange variety of new friends and continue—despite threatenting emails and near-fatal "accidents"—to seek the real reason her husband died, to find his murderers, to blossom in the midst of this icy disaster.

By the way, guys, I offer a warning. This is a novel that drove me to tears, not once, but several times. If you are in a deep relationship, the evocative way Whitehead describes Quinn's loss may overturn your emotions as well. Fathers (and mothers) will also find tear-jerking moments in the story.

There is power in evoking tears, and power in the persistence of Quinn and her posse. It is the power of plum blossoms to promise the triumph of spring in late winter. It is the power of love that transcends death.