The Dark Road A Novel
The horrors of modern China with its "one child" policy and endemic corruption make this book a compelling read. This is the story of Melei, a young peasant woman, her husband and child. Forced to abandon their home because the "one child" policy means she has to abort her second child, the reader senses her pain and terror as she watches a child who was born alive be murdered by the doctors.
This family goes through a long list of horrors as they lose their home and are forced to live on a boat. Pollution and corruption are everywhere and their life is one big struggle. Through the years the misfortunes continue, their marriage is strained, the government policies unbelievably cruel. They do survive however and through the years manage to improve their condition somewhat.
The story is compelling and has a touch of magic realism to it. The characters are developed with excruciating detail and I was thrust into their lives, wincing at its revolting descriptions on every page.
This is their story. But is also the story of China itself. I easily identified with Melei and winced a lot at the horror of her life. It sure made me feel fortunate to be born in America..
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