Review Detail

 
Young Adult Fiction
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS is a collection of fifteen short stories, edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman. All of the tales are retellings of popular Asian myths and legends, written by well-known Asian authors. The writers take old texts, such as THE MAHABHARATA and THE CHASA BONPULI, spin them with the magical ‘What If,’ and breathe fresh and often contemporary life into these works. Though all the stories have some fantastical element to them, there are a vast number of settings, characters, and circumstances, as well as a fairly representative sample of Asian literature. The novel compiles stories originating from the Philippines, China, India, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan.

I’ve never heard any of these stories before and I really loved being exposed to them. However, I often found myself wishing that I was more familiar with the classical tale so that I could appreciate how it had been altered. The editors seemed to anticipate this reaction, because after each short story, they included a one-to-two page explanation of the tale’s origins. This information really helped to grasp the essence and spirit of the stories.

Since each story is so different and each world is so rich, it was sometimes difficult to finish one and start the next in immediate succession. As a result, it took me much longer to get through this book than I anticipated. I also found myself wanting the stories to be longer and more expansive, so that I could get lost in them. In fact, I wish some would have been their own novels. While I enjoyed each and every short story as they all have something unique to offer, there were a few that really stood out, such as “Steel Skin” by Lori M. Lee, based on a Hmong folktale, ‘The Woman and the Tiger,’ “Bullet, Butterfly” by Elsie Chapman, based on a Chinese folktale, ‘The Butterfly Lovers,’ and “The Crimson Cloak,” by Cindy Pon, based on a Chinese legend, ‘The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl.’

Overall, A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS is a wonderful idea and huge accomplishment in diversifying representation in literature. It’s appealing to anyone who loves myths, fairytales, or fantasy. This compilation took me on many enchanting journeys, creating a wanderlust for these settings, and a deep desire to explore more books of this kind.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

From Twinkle, Wtih Love
Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Freshmen
A laugh-out-loud, realistic portrayal of a freshman year in college...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi
In 1945, at the end of World War II, Adolf...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
You May Now Kill the Bride
Two sisters, divided by time. Each with a terrible resentment...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ruby Redfort: Blink and You Die (Ruby Redfort #6)
Ruby Redfort: you can count on her when the ice...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Wish I Was a Gorilla
What if you wished you were a gorilla and then...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The New Kid
Middle school can be tough! Especially when Alex's best friend...
 
3.0
 
5.0 (1)
Margot and Mateo Save the World
When Margot Blumenthal removes a bright blue slug alien attached...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Acceptance The Jewel Trilogy Book one
When destiny and desire collide... In a community full...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Escape The Future
"AS POWERFUL AS CORMAC MCCARTHY... A TIMELY, TROUBLING, AND MEMORABLE...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Challenge Accepted
Emma Dawson and Logan Reynolds have been neighbors and...
 
4.2 (3)
 
0.0 (0)
The Planetsider
A story of self-discovery, belonging and hope. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Where the Sea Takes Me
Two years later might as well be two lifetimes....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From You to Me
Amelia Peabody lives in a small town where nothing changes....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"According to legend, when the world was young, two gods...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Why Can't I Be You
Claire Ladd knows that this summer is going to...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by L. Eustace Mitsuko is part of a powerful family in Japan, in the 1200s. Wars, chaos, and..."
The Heavenward Path (Mitsuko #2)
 
3.0
"Reader reviewed by L. Eustace This book takes place about two years after Mitsuko entered the land of the dead..."