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It Happens in Threes

August 11, 2011

My grandmother first said it, when I was little, and then my mother started the saying herself. I always scoffed at them for such, thinking them old-fashioned, backward, and just plain silly, but now, as  an adult, a parent, I find myself waiting for the third ball to drop. This was our family. Things always happen in threes- and right now, I’m waiting, impatiently, to see what else is going to happen because as of right now our drier has broken (no big deal, I’m hanging clothes outside and on hangers to dry- towels are no fun and I’ve line dried diapers before) and my car is in the shop for the third time in about as many months. But, I’m trying to look at the brighter side of things, much like these sisters did in the book I just finished for AWESOME BOOK CLUB:)

As a former English major and a once avid reader I really think I NEED a book club to get me to read, whatever it may be. My mom’s group book club this month is Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, which is by far one of my favorite books of all time, and my friend J’s first book club is this month as well with Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls. Since I’ve read American Gods once I decided to challenge myself and really read Shanghai Girls.

I had no idea what to expect. I’d never heard of the book before (unless Dr, Seuss, Parents Magazine, or Nick Jr mentions it, I’m out of the loop). I was pleasantly surprised with my read (I finished last night). It is historical fiction, which in general I like to SAY I don’t like, but in reality I get so much more out of historical fiction than I do much else honestly. It was fun to see familiar names and familiar places (Hollywood, Clark Gable) and interesting to hear about the stories from China in a time before me (not that I’ve been to China).

See, I’m lacking (I’ll admit) when it comes to history lessons. I took AP European History and AP US Govt and AP US History in high school, but we barely made it to WWI. Do you know how much happens AFTER WWI? I don’t, because we didn’t study it! So, when I read about how the Chinese weren’t allowed in the US, or to marry Caucasians in the 1930’s I’m appalled. And then, I read that only a few years later when Japan bombs Pearl Harbor the US Govt repeals the laws against Chinese simply to them open Japanese internment camps I’m amazed. THEN when China goes to Civil War with itself and becomes Communist I’m ashamed to read about what the US THEN does to the Chinese.

Well, I won’t write about the book per se, this is all stuff everyone else should/probably does already know, simply b/c my book club is still a few weeks away, but, I just thought of the book and the traditions the Chinese parents brought with them to the United States to teach to their children when I was thinking about things happening in threes. In so many ways us ‘American mutts’ have no culture to speak of, no traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation- and even if we do, they’re very different from what I read the Chinese have in this book. But, one thing we do have in common, and maybe it’s throughout every culture, is the thought that things happen (perhaps both bad and good) in threes.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2011 9:20 am

    Thanks for posting this book! I’ve always loved historical fiction, but hadn’t heard of this one. Have you read any Amy Tan? One of my favorite authors, and more historical Chinese fic for you 🙂

  2. admin permalink*
    August 12, 2011 9:27 am

    yes, actually, i meant to mention how much it was like Joy Luck Club, which I read in high school for our academic team. The only BIG difference is that JLC is more about the children growing up in Am and flashbacks to their parents times and trials in China, whereas, this is their story told straightforward without many flashbacks like in Joy Luck;)

  3. August 13, 2011 8:42 pm

    Awesome, I really want to check it out! Last year I read The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan, and I looooved it. It does the flash-back thing, too. Funny.

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