Sunday, August 30, 2009

Read-it-First: The Concubine's Daughter

Last week, the St. Martin's Read-it-First selection was The Concubine's Daughter, the debut novel, by Pai Kit Fai. Myths, fairy tales and superstition are evident in the first twenty pages that were offered during the preview week. I guess this is par for the course for life in China during the early twentieth century. A time and place where females were considered worthless and treated as property. At the start of the novel, Yik-Munn, a farmer, listens to his concubine scream as she gives birth to an expected son. When a daughter is born instead, there is only one thing he can do – kill the child. Fear of the fox fairy prevents him from doing so. Is the daughter destined to follow in her mother's footsteps or can she escape? This is the saga that unfolds throughout the pages of this novel.

The writing was colorful and descriptive. The pace of the early pages was a little slow but not enough to deter me from finishing the preview. The pages that I read were a bit predictable; however, I have enjoyed reading similar books. Not sure if I will be purchasing this book – need to take a second look.

Looking forward to the next preview!


  1. Cathy, this book would have been perfect for the Chinese Literature challenge!

  2. Have this on my must read list. Sounds so good!

  3. Cathy, please stop by my blog soon. I have an award for you!