What a fantastic read! I loved the character of Mercy, her determination, her voice and her empowerment. While faced with disorder, she finds hope and life and she empowers others to look beyond the present to make their future brighter. Being a minority, her outlook on life takes strength. This strength she finds from within her and I loved how she moves forward in life, taking one step at a time. The minute I met Mercy, I knew she was a force to be reckoned with. She didn’t want a traditional Chinese life; she wanted to make a life of her own. She was set on going to a girl’s school and her determination to get a scholarship had me laughing and hooting as she put people in their place. When she was accepted, unfortunately she had to leave her family for this was the cost she would have to pay for her education. Mercy was now at a place where she would get a proper education but in reality, she would learn more about life than she would at home.
I loved the author’s writing as Mercy is drawn into a world unfamiliar to her. I felt like a part of Mercy and her travels as she tries to adjust to her strange environment. The girls and the staff are inquisitive about Mercy and her heritage. Mercy must lie and she is quite the talented liar, quick on her feet with a great imagination. Sharp and witty, she satisfies her audience and she leaves me hungry for more of her wit. She thinks she has the girls fooled by her wisdom but the headmistress has her eyes on Mercy. Mercy can’t stop thinking about Tom, she wonders if Tom carries the same feeling for her now that she has left him to go to school. Her determination to become someone stronger than a traditional Chinese woman has her thinking perhaps Tom would rather have a traditional girl than Mercy. Mercy can’t stop thinking about him and she feels she must do something to validate her feelings. Mercy gets a powerful push as the novel continues and the school comes under major distress. This was an incredible historical fiction novel and one that I highly recommend.