Hailed as “China’s Midnight’s Children” (The Independent) this “brilliant, mind-expanding, and wildly original novel” (Chris Cleave) about a Beijing taxi driver whose past incarnations over one thousand years haunt him through searing letters sent by his mysterious soulmate.
Who are you? you must be wondering. I am your soulmate, your old friend, and I have come back to this city of sixteen million in search of you.
So begins the first letter that falls into Wang’s lap as he flips down the visor in his taxi. The letters that follow are filled with the stories of Wang’s previous lives—from escaping a marriage to a spirit bride, to being a slave on the run from Genghis Khan, to living as a fisherman during the Opium Wars, and being a teenager on the Red Guard during the cultural revolution—bound to his mysterious “soulmate,” spanning one thousand years of betrayal and intrigue.
As the letters continue to appear seemingly out of thin air, Wang becomes convinced that someone is watching him—someone who claims to have known him for over one thousand years. And with each letter, Wang feels the watcher growing closer and closer…Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea and Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by A Daily Rhythm.
Seamlessly weaving Chinese folklore, history, and literary classics, The Incarnations is a taut and gripping novel that sheds light on the cyclical nature of history as it hints that the past is never truly settled.
'Every night I wake from dreaming. Memory squeezing the trigger of my heart and blood surging through my veins.The dreams go into a journal. Cold swear on my skin, adrenaline in my blood, I illuminate my cement room with the 40 watt bulb hanging overhead and, huddled under blankets, flip open my notebook and spill ink across the feint-ruled page. Capturing the ephemera of dreams, before they fade from memory.' 1%Any beginning to a book that uses the word 'ephemera' has my interest. I am, somehow, reading a lot of first-person narrative novels although I have often said I dislike it. But I guess my choosing skills are improving since I have enjoyed almost all of them.
'"Do you think we'd be friends, if we hadn't met in hospital?" Zeng asked, "Why would someone like you, who goes to Beijing University, be friends with someone like me?"' 42%I looked ahead in the book for this one and couldn't help but read on afterwards and oh God are there exciting things waiting for me! But let's get back to this teaser. I'm a sucker for characters meeting in interesting places because it always hints at interesting background stories and potentially hilarious adventures. I have a feeling this read isn't exactly hilarious though, but I am definitely excited to read more of it!
Does The Incarnations sound like your kind of book? Or have you already read it? Leave a link to your post in the comments below!