The Third Son
by Julie Wu
Published: 4/30/13 by Algonquin Books
3.5 out of 5 stars
I received an early copy of this book for review from Library Thing.
Third Son by Julie Wu is about Saburo, who is the thirdborn son in his
Taiwanese family. Saburo grows up during a tumultuous time in Taiwan,
first being invaded by Japan and then by Chinese Nationalists. Saburo
is also the least favorite child in his family; he is wrongly blamed for
the death of his brother and constantly treated poorly and unfairly.
Despite all these setbacks, Saburo manages to make the most of his life
and overcome the obstacles put in his path.
This was a nice
story, and for the most part, I enjoyed reading it. I couldn't help but
cheer for Saburo, as he seemed to draw the short end of the stick
constantly throughout his life. As with most stories like this though, I
couldn't help but feel it was a bit unrealistic at times. Even though
he went through a lot of difficulties, Saburo always managed to come out
on top, time and time again. I know the point of the book was to tell
his story of overcoming obstacles and difficulty, but sometimes
everything just worked out too perfectly causing this plot to seem a bit
contrived and unbelievable.
I think the first half of the book
was the strongest. Once Saburo arrives in America, I felt my attention
begin to wane at times. But still, I wanted to keep reading and find
out if/how Saburo and Yoshiko would be reunited again.
reading this book, I knew very little about Taiwan's history. I enjoyed
learning more about the history of Taiwan and the difficulties the
country faced as they were constantly invaded and controlled by other