My favorite book is “The Middle Heart” by Bette Bao Lord. All the elements of the story are interesting and they successfully intertwine to come up with a very beautiful plot. The story is set in modern China and characters are named using the English counterpart of their Chinese names. Particularly, what I love about this book is the female protagonist, Firecrackers. She is half of twin siblings and ever since her brother died she had resumed a male identity. She later met a young master and his crippled friend and they become best friends calling their group “The Middle Heart”. When growing up, Firecrackers lost her boyish character but remains firm and strong. She later becomes an actress and changes her name to Summer Wishes. She portrays a very ideal heroine especially in the context of Communist China.
She is a beautiful woman adorned with very expensive and beautiful jewelries and clothes but inside she remains strong despite the pain she feels. Again, she looks like another brave female protagonist but the connections and love she maintained with her two friends and her country makes her even more interesting.
I don’t see myself in Summer Wishes but I do admire her character. She has managed to come out of the confusion and chaos that she had experience and continued to be an inspiration to the two men who have loved her and endured pain for her. In relation, the love triangle formed between the three friends is just one of the best I’ve encountered in literature. It adds action and spice to the plot. Moreover, the story also effectively illustrated the society where the characters are involved in, which takes its readers into a more in depth analysis of that particular context. The characters may have just been invented but in my mind they will always be real. The whole approach of the story provides a very comfortable feeling to the reader and every page turned is another page added to one’s experiences.
Lord, B. (1996). The Middle Heart. New York: Knopf.