Review: Kinder Than Solitude, Yiyun Li

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review*
Kinder Than Solitude, Yiyun Li
When Moran, Ruyu, and Boyang were young, they were involved in a mysterious “accident” in which a friend of theirs was poisoned. Grown up, the three friends are separated by distance and personal estrangement. Moran and Ruyu live in the United States, Boyang in China; all three are haunted by what really happened in their youth, and by doubt about themselves. In California, Ruyu helps a local woman care for her family and home, and avoids entanglements, as she has done all her life. In Wisconsin, Moran visits her ex-husband, whose kindness once overcame her flight into solitude. In Beijing, Boyang struggles to deal with an inability to love, and with the outcome of what happened among the three friends twenty years ago.(source: goodreads)

Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing, China and moved to the United States in 1996. She received an MFA from Iowa Writers' Workshop and an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. She was recently selected as one of Granta's 21 Best of Young American Novelists. She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and their two sons, and teaches at University of California, Davis.

If you follow me for a while you know I do not often read books that are set in the East. I am not sure why but they hardly ever catch my attention. The title of this one caught my eye and I could not forget about seeing this one. I became curious about the accident and what exactly happened.
I started the book late one night planning just to read a few pages but that did not really work out well. I was pulled in and could not stop. The atmosphere is great and the writing is very nice. There is one problem with this book and though it did not disturb me as I got the feeling it was done on purpose I can imagine people will not like it. It was not easy to connect to the characters.
I liked the teenager Moran but did not understand the adult Moran. Ruyu is easy to follow and understand but not a very likeable person. Boyang is not really in the picture in the teenager years though he plays a critical part but is more important as an adult. Still I felt I missed crucial parts of the story to understand them and those parts did not come till the end of the book when it finally fell into place.

Kinder Than Solitude
Author: Yiyun Li
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 336
Format: eGalley
ISBN-10: 1400068142
ISBN-13: 9781400068142
Random House: eBook | Hardcover
Kinder Than Solitude
4 stars

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3 reacties

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21 February, 2014 delete

I also don't read many books set in the East, but since I read The Third Son, I have shown a little more interest. I think that if I read one again, it won't be this one :)

Jennine G.
22 February, 2014 delete

Stepped out of your comfort zone! That's always a good thing!

23 February, 2014 delete

I often enjoy book set in China or with Chinese characters- this sounds like it might be a good one.