Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 400 pages
Audiobook Length: 14 hours and 10 minutes
First Published: 2022
Peach Blossom Spring is a family saga that follows 70 years of the Dao family. After a life as a refugee, first fleeing from the Japanese Army and then relocating during the Civil War, Renshu Dao and his mother Meilin eventually end up in Taiwan. When Renshu attends graduate school in America, he reinvents himself as Henry and refuses to talk about his childhood or heritage to his American wife or daughter.
Loosely based on the life of Melissa Fu’s father, Peach Blossom Spring does an excellent job guiding you through modern Chinese history. Although the story was interesting, the telling left something to be desired. The writing style was stiff and the characters are emotionally distant; you are told what happens to them but never able to truly experience what they are feeling.
“Within every misfortune there is a blessing and within every blessing, the seeds of misfortune, and so it goes, until the end of time.”
It is 1938 in China and, as a young wife, Meilin’s future is bright. But with the Japanese army approaching, Meilin and her four year old son, Renshu, are forced to flee their home. Relying on little but their wits and a beautifully illustrated hand scroll, filled with ancient fables that offer solace and wisdom, they must travel through a ravaged country, seeking refuge.
Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. Though his daughter is desperate to understand her heritage, he refuses to talk about his childhood. How can he keep his family safe in this new land when the weight of his history threatens to drag them down? Yet how can Lily learn who she is if she can never know her family’s story?
Spanning continents and generations, Peach Blossom Spring is a bold and moving look at the history of modern China, told through the story of one family. It’s about the power of our past, the hope for a better future, and the haunting question: What would it mean to finally be home?
About Melissa Fu
Melissa Fu is the author of Peach Blossom Spring. She has worked as a teacher, curriculum developer, and consultant. Fu grew up in Northern New Mexico and currently lives near Cambridge, UK. Visit the author’s website →