The Hundred Secret Senses is one of those
mystical, enthralling stories that starts rather
slowly and draws you in bit by bit.
This is a story of two half-sisters. Olivia is American-born;
her mother is white, her father Chinese. It's not until her
father dies that the family learns of his other daughter,
Kwan, born to his first wife and still living in China.
Olivia's mother, wanting to show the world her benevolence
and forgiveness, sends for Kwan to come to America and
live with the family. In Olivia's eyes it is a disaster from the
Kwan is already eighteen when she arrives. She is loud,
outspoken, and speaks fractured English.
She also believes that she has yin eyes - the ability to see
and speak to ghosts; nothing like the exotic, older sister
conjured up in Olivia's imagination.
After her arrival in America, Kwan proceeds to regale Olivia
with stories of old China as told by her yin friends.
Olivia views Kwan as a total embarassment, purposely
sent by the gods to make her life miserable; a view that
doesn't change well into her adulthood.
Olivia from the start was arrogant and self-centered and
had an uncanny way of blaming all the negatives in her life
on someone else.
When Kwan arrived, she became the perfect scapegoat
and target for Olivia's sarcasm and cruelty.
Too immersed in her own world, Olivia was totally oblivious
to Kwan's magnanimous, loving, and outgoing nature.
When Olivia's marriage starts to fall apart, she reluctantly
takes a trip to China with her estranged husband and
Kwan. It is only then that she starts to grasp the meaning
of Kwan's yin stories and the depth of Kwan's soul.
Kwan's character is so overwhelmingly positive, warm, and
charming that you just have to love her and see her story
through to the end.
As the book unfolds, you find out more and more about her
through her yin stories. Are these for real, or are they a
figment of a delusional mind? It's up to the reader to
decide. It is a somewhat mystical, but rewarding story.
WE LOVE IT!
This is one of those stories you may find yourself
re-reading again and again.
One of the books you hold on to in your collection like an
old dear friend.
|"But she is always there,
like a cat kneading at my heart."
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