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The Dance of the Spirits by Catherine Aerie
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The Dance of the Spirits

by Catherine Aerie

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335 pg
3.5★

Interesting information about the Korean conflict.....unusual love story. ( )
  pennsylady | Feb 5, 2016 |
Jasmine Young is raised by a wealthy family in an estate in Shanghai called the Garden of Melody where servants take care of the household. One of them, a boy named Tin-Bo, is an orphan, and Jasmine’s family welcomes him and gives him an education. When Jasmine’s mother dies and her father throws her on the street, she is forced to fend for herself and starts working as a nurse assistant while still attending school during the day. Meanwhile, Tin-Bo is on the run, as he is accused of plotting to murder a government official. Then Mao Zedong comes into power in 1949, and Jasmine has no choice but to enroll as a doctor with the Red Cross in the Korean War. During the conflict, her path crosses Tin-Bo’s again, now a high-ranking officer in the Chinese army, and she meets Wesley Palm, an American soldier who will have a key role in her life.

The Dance of the Spirits is Catherine Aerie’s debut novel. The book is beautifully written and includes strong, relatable characters. The subject matter was really interesting to me, as I didn’t know very much about the Korean War. In fact, it seems that few books have been written on the subject, as the conflict is usually overshadowed by the Vietnam War. I also learned a lot about life in communist China. However, I found that there were too many unrealistic chance encounters between Jasmine and Tin-Bo, and Jasmine and Wesley. While Korea is a relatively small country, I doubt that 3 people in different armies or battalions would meet so often. In addition, the ending, while unexpected, was a bit abrupt. On the whole though, I really recommend this book if for no other reason than to learn more about the Korean War.

The Dance of the Spirits was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

To read the full review, please go to my blog (Cecile Sune - Book Obsessed). ( )
  cecile.sune | Feb 25, 2015 |
Set in a time of war the story follows two people from the different ends of the political spectrum. To try and find her way in life a young Chinese woman goes off as a medical surgeon to serve in the Korean War where she sees and absorbs the real truth and results of warfare. On the other side is American Wes Palm and their paths collide with an amazing outcome.

The true beauty of this novel is the insight of how tough and different it was for a Chinese woman to grow up and follow her own way whilst been dominated by a strict government regime. Also when people speak of war it's mainly always about the battles and the fallen but we tend to forget about the casualties and the people who tended to them without the appropriate medicine or equipment, the authors writing brings this horrible part of war to life with true reality. You feel that you are in the background of every scene.

The narrative is told from two sides but in truth they both want the same outcome the killing to stop and peace to reign. As these two people lives become entwined we are reminded that they are the innocents and the real guilty parties are the powers to be who are fighting for they own greed.

This is a very emotive book which will touch every single feeling you can have and will make you think differently about war and the after effects of it.

The first book I have read by this author but I am definitely looking forward to future publications. ( )
  beckvalleybooks | Sep 16, 2014 |
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"An often engaging tale of a flickering moment of love during a forgotten war” – Kirkus Review
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 098969092X, Paperback)

Spring 1951: it is the fiery zenith of the Korean War, a war that the youthful US Army lieutenant Wesley Palm and his men thought that they had won… until the Chinese swept across the Yalu River. Traveling with the million-man army bent on driving back the march of “American imperialism” is Jasmine Young, a Chinese surgeon who has volunteered herself into the war for unspoken, grave reasons. Through a chronicle of merciless battles, freezing winters, and the brutality and hypocrisy of human nature, the two will find themselves weaving through the twists and turns of fate and destiny, where an unquenchable passion, a resilient pursuit of liberty, and an inherent dignity light the darkness against the vast sky of a warring world and of nations and cultures that stand shattered and divided by the same forces that unify them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Spring 1951, the zenith of the Korean War, a war that the US Army lieutenant Wesley Palm and his men thought that they had won until the Chinese swept across the Yalu River. Traveling with them is Jasmine Young, a Chinese surgeon who has volunteered herself into the war for unspoken reasons. The two find themselves weaving through the twist and turns of fate and destiny.… (more)

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