It’s 1958, and Hazel’s peaceful world has been upended by the tragic death of her husband. It’s harvest time and with two small children and a farm to manage on her own, this young mother is determined to keep her land and family intact. As she grows closer to the neighboring Hughes family, she realizes the tradeoff for some freedoms is more precious than she expected.
In 1890, we see Hazel’s young mother, Louisa, recently married and relocated to Illinois to what will become her family’s farm. Life in the country is dictated by seasons, so too is Louisa ruled by her “weathers” of good and bad spells. What keeps her grounded is corresponding with her sister, Addie, a Christian missionary in China. The same adventurous spirit that brought Addie to China with her new husband now compels her to leave again. However, with the Boxer Rebellion underway, and violence erupting between Chinese and their unwelcome Christian intruders, Addie’s life takes a mysterious and haunting turn strongly felt by her sister, Louisa, back home.
At the end of the twentieth century, Juanlan returns to her parents’ home in Heng’an after college. With her father falling ill, a new highway being built, and her sister-in-law soon to give birth, Juanlan feels frozen in place, though everyone and everything seems to be rapidly changing. In the search for an outlet for the live wire, a little burning blue coil she feels buried inside, she starts up a love affair with a high-ranking government official.
From rural Illinois to the far reaches of China, these four women are interconnected by actions, consequence, and spirit, each brilliantly displaying the fleeting intensity of youth, the obligation of family, and the dramatic consequence of charting their own destiny. A vibrant story of compassion and discovery set against a century of complicated relations between China and America, Rebellion celebrates those who fight against expectation in pursuit of their own thrilling fate and introduces a rising literary star.”
I’ve read quite a few 5 star books this month but this was my only true 5 star first time read. I loved the connections between the four separate stories and the mysteries and betrayals in each. Basically, there are four different stories that follow four different people from mostly different time periods and in the end, you’re able to put all the pieces together which was my favorite part of the whole deal. I actually went to an author event that featured this author and I was able to get a copy signed for a giveaway! My review and that giveaway will be coming soon!
A tyrannical old martinet, a mental sadist and the incarnation of evil. These were only three of the character descriptions levelled at Mrs. Boynton, the matriarch who kept her family totally dependent on her. But did she really deserve to die on the excursion to beautiful Petra? Hercule Poirot hears about the murder and feels compelled to investigate-despite the family’s request not to do so. Do they have something to hide and, if so, can they keep it hidden from this master sleuth?”