Friday 56 & #BookBeginnings: The Incarnations

Every night I wake from dreaming. Memory squeezing the trigger of my heart and blood surging through my veins. 
- p. 1 (ARC, page may change)

 For Friday 56:  
According to the Merchant Fang, the courtesans of the Gay Quarters are classical beauties with lunar skin, scallion fingers and tresses dark as raven's plumage.  They flutter about like exotic birds in an aviary, in the finest, most intricately embroidered robes. Such is their beauty, boasted Merchant Fang, that should they happen by your hometown, the common folk of Kill the Barbarians  Village would mistake them for immortal goddesses and lay sacrificial offerings of slaughtered pigs at their feet.
- p. 56 (ARC, page may change)

About The Incarnations by Susan BarkerHailed as “China’s Midnight’s Children” (The Independent) this “brilliant, mind-expanding, and wildly original novel” (Chris Cleave) about a Beijing taxi driver whose past incarnations over one thousand years haunt him through searing letters sent by his mysterious soulmate.

Who are you? you must be wondering. I am your soulmate, your old friend, and I have come back to this city of sixteen million in search of you.

So begins the first letter that falls into Wang’s lap as he flips down the visor in his taxi. The letters that follow are filled with the stories of Wang’s previous lives—from escaping a marriage to a spirit bride, to being a slave on the run from Genghis Khan, to living as a fisherman during the Opium Wars, and being a teenager on the Red Guard during the cultural revolution—bound to his mysterious “soulmate,” spanning one thousand years of betrayal and intrigue. As the letters continue to appear seemingly out of thin air, Wang becomes convinced that someone is watching him—someone who claims to have known him for over one thousand years. And with each letter, Wang feels the watcher growing closer and closer…

Seamlessly weaving Chinese folklore, history, and literary classics, The Incarnations is a taut and gripping novel that sheds light on the cyclical nature of history as it hints that the past is never truly settled.

Loved this book! See my review here.

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall