The Third Son: A Novel (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
The Third Son: A Novel Cover Image
$29.99
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews


The Third Son by Julie Wu takes place in 1943.  Taiwan is occupied by the Japanese. Saburo is the narrator.  During an air raid the 8 year old Saburo is fleeing home when he comes upon Yoshiko, another fleeing student.  They both narrowly escape the bullets from an American plane, finding a safe place until the bombing stops. Saburo cherishes this moment for the rest of his life.  Yoshiko talks about her family and her life.  She is well loved.  Saburo, on the other hand is at best dismissed, at worst physically and verbally abused.  As Saburo grows up the reader is informed of the responsibilities that one inherits in this culture.  Saburo dreams of freedom.  After the war the Japanese leave only to be replaced by the Chinese Nationalists.  They are at least as severe. Saburo’s dreams seem unattainable.  We see the gentle Saburo summoning the strength it takes to fight for love, education, and for the chance to make the choices required of him to master his own life. On reading about the third (and least wanted) son, Saburo, it was second nature to root for him, to feel his pain, and the joy of his successes.  It was also rewarding to read about the circumstances surrounding the history of Taiwan, and to get a glimpse of how the people of the island were personally impacted by their cultures, their governments. I very much liked this book

 

— Nancy Nelson

Description


“Clear your schedule! The Third Son is your next obsessive read. Julie Wu’s book reads like an instant classic.”  —Lydia Netzer, author of Shine Shine Shine

In the middle of a terrifying air raid in Japanese-occupied Taiwan, Saburo, the least-favored son of a Taiwanese politician, runs through a forest for cover. It’s there he stumbles on Yoshiko, whose descriptions of her loving family are to Saburo like a glimpse of paradise. Meeting her is a moment he will remember forever, and for years he will try to find her again. When he finally does, she is by the side of his oldest brother and greatest rival.

In Saburo, author Julie Wu has created an extraordinary character, determined to fight for everything he needs and wants, from food to education to his first love. The Third Son is a sparkling and moving story about a young boy with his head in the clouds who, against all odds, finds himself on the frontier of America’s space program.

“An appealing coming-of-age story packed with vivid historical detail.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“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

“Deceptively simple, deeply compelling . . . An unusually awful sibling rivalry, a stunningly pure and inspiring love story.”  —The Boston Globe

“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

About the Author


After graduating from Harvard with a BA in Literature, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Julie Wu received an MD at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. She has received a writing grant from the Vermont Studio Center and won a 2012 Massachusetts Cultural Council fellowship. Her website is www.juliewuauthor.com. 

Praise For…


“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


— Reviews
Product Details
ISBN: 9781616203276
ISBN-10: 1616203277
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: May 27th, 2014
Pages: 336
Language: English