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It’s 1943 as air-raid sirens blare in Japanese-occupied Taiwan, eight-year-old Saburo is in no hurry to go home to the abuse he suffers at the hands of his parents and older brother. In the peach forests of Taoyuan, he encounters Yoshiko, whose loving family is like a glimpse of paradise for him. Their brief meeting is a memory he cherishes from that moment forward, and for years after he tries to locate her again. But when he finally does, she is by the side of his eldest brother and greatest rival.

As the Chinese Nationalist Army lays claim to the island after the war, Saburo bravely struggles to break free of the future assigned him by heritage and circumstance and to go in search of new frontiers.

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Review quotes

“A boy growing up in Japanese-occupied Taiwan in the 1940s will do anything to escape his tormenting family and reconnect with his first love in this compelling work of fiction.” —O: The Oprah Magazine

“A stunningly pure and inspiring love story . . . Deeply compelling.” —The Boston Globe

“Wu's debut novel is an appealing coming-of-age story packed with vivid historical detail.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“Wu presents an alluring story that hits all the right emotional buttons and maintains readers’ empathy from the first page to the last.” —Kirkus Reviews

“You may have read other Asian American historical novels, but you've never read anything like Julie Wu's affecting and emotional The Third Son. It's one of the don't-miss books of the year.” —Beth Fish Reads

“With great authority and skill, Wu depicts not just the grand events of the era, such as the Kuomintang (KMT)'s arrival in Taiwan and the brutal occupation that followed, but also the small, private moments of life . . . The Third Son should be the start of a very successful writing career for Julie Wu, and I hope she will not need long to write her next novel--I'm excited to read it.” —Fiction Writers Review

Product Details
Categories
Number of pages
336
Publication date
May 27, 2014
ISBN
9781616203276