May 15, 2014
Thursday Review: THE UNDERTAKING OF LILY CHEN by Danica Novgorodoff
And can I just say, Holy Jaw-Dropping Artwork, Batman. The combination of ink and watercolor is used in a myriad of ways here—characters are almost comically drawn using jagged ink lines, while backgrounds, atmospheric scenes, landscapes, even dream sequences use these evocative watercolor washes that remind me of traditional Chinese landscape painting in some panels, while others are just plain artsy and undeniably modern. It works so well thematically, because this is a story in which generations-old tradition comes into conflict with the modern sensibilities of a younger generation.
this article from LAST YEAR). In this book, Deshi Li is a young man whose brother Wei—the golden boy of the family—suffered an untimely death. His parents, now left with the underachieving brother, blame him, and he blames himself. Mom and Dad send him on a quest for a corpse bride for his brother's ghost marriage—"Find him a wife. Be back by Sunday." is what they tell him.
While on his quest, Deshi meets the voluble, impulsive, irrepressible Lily Chen, whose family has fallen on hard economic times. After her family starts pressuring her to marry the rich creep who owns their farm's lease, Lily storms out and attaches herself to Deshi, who happens to be passing by at just that moment. And, well—Deshi needs a young woman. One has just happened along. Of course, there's the minor issue that Lily is STILL ALIVE. And she's set on running away to the big city to find a new life, one in which she doesn't have to marry El Creepo just to save her family.
You can find THIS BOOK by This Author online, or at an independent bookstore near you!