Dragon Springs Road is a Classic
Dragon Springs Road is a classic
Yesterday I did a newsletter about a possible Dragon Springs Road film that the author Janie Chang was trying to pitch to Hollywood. I stood up late till 12:30 midnight finishing this book on my kindle fire and let me just say, it’s worth the $1.99 price on Amazon, and it was money well spent. It has history, fantasy, finding lost loved ones and a love story all into one. It didn’t disappoint. The story of Dragon Springs Road takes place in early 20th century Shanghai. The story begins in 1908 when our protagonist Jailing was 7 years old. Jailing’s mother promised to return but she never does. Jailing is zazhong which is a racist term for Eurasian. Jailing faces racism from both Chinese and the Europeans living in China. Jailing becomes a bond servant to the Yang family. The story chronicles Jailing’s childhood to her womanhood. Jailing is friends with the Yang daughter Anjuin and with a fox spirit. When Jailing becomes a woman its where she searches for her mother. There are so many characters to talk about so I’m only going to list the important ones.
Jailing is one of my favorite characters and she’s the main protagonist. I like the fact that despite how hard her life is she never gives up on her goals. Jailing wants to find her mother and know why she abandoned her, she also wants more than just a concubine or a servant despite how prejudiced society is towards mixed race people in China.
Fox the animal spirit is also another favorite character. Fox does a good job of taking care of Jailing and being somewhat like a mother figure and a friend since Jailing’s mother isn’t around. Fox can turn into a beautiful woman.
Grandmother Yang and most of the yang family I think was a product of their time and environment. At least they didn’t throw Jailing out into the street, but at the same time making her their bond servant its obviously they basically tolerated her.
Ping Mei is a mysterious woman who gives Jailing details about her missing mother, though she’s not quite what she seems.
Mr. Shea is a British man who moves to Shanghai. His wife, Mrs. Shea is abusive towards their daughter Anne which is why Anne chose to go through this magical portal door in the Western Residence which is pretty much an afterlife.
Wan Baoyan is a mysterious wealthy man looking to buy the property of Dragon Springs Road. He’s also a bit suspicious.
Wan Taiyong is the love interest of Jailing. He’s swoon worthy and he treats Jailing like a regular human being and her race to him isn’t a big deal.
Janie Chang’s writing is so descriptive and you feel as though you are there in China during the time period, she also knows how to craft likeable and unlikeable flawed people. I like the Behind the Book page where even though the book is fictional she bases it off of actual events and what life was like for both the Eurasians and even the Chinese of that time period. Even if some Eurasians were wealthy they never quite belonged in either society and still faced racism.
There weren’t many things I disliked about this book. I will say the love interest of Wan Taiyong came a little late in the book. It was obvious that Jailing and Wan had chemistry, but it seemed as though they didn’t have too much time to get to know each other. I also felt like there should have been a moment where she tells Wan something hugely important that happened early on in the book in the last chapter. If you guys read the book you’ll know what I’m talking about but if you don’t I won’t spoil it.
Dragon Springs Road is a book that will keep you up late with the story, the beautiful descriptions and wanting to know what happens next. If you enjoy historical fiction, and fantasy and different cultures Dragon Springs Road is the book for you.