Friday, November 25, 2005
Midnight at the Garden Cafe by Judy Fong Bates
Well, this one lasted about 80 pages. I checked it out from the library based on recommendations on Amazon, but found that it just didn't draw me in. The premise - a young girl's experience of growing up in the lone Chinese emigrant family in a small Ontario town - is interesting enough, and yet the story itself wasn't. The book came across as a disjointed series of memories, told in a detached way that didn't allow me to connect with any of the characters, and peppered with depressing bits of foreshadowing (ie, something awful is going to happen...) that didn't encourage me to keep reading. I understand that the book is semi-autobiographical, so I imagine that it might have been therapeutic for the author to write, and might strike a chord with people who had a similar experience. For me, though, it's time to keep looking for other books about what it's like to live in a different place, time or culture.