I decided that I wanted to try reading something a little different than my usual non-fiction and scifi book so when a friend of mine from Taiwan recommend A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers I figured I might as well give it a try and I was shocked at how much I enjoyed reading this book.
The book is a diary of a young woman from China who goes to London to study English and ends up in a relationship with an older man. It explores the issue of cross cultural communication and more generally how different people express and experience love. In the end it is a coming of age tale about how she becomes an adult women who is fully in charge of her own life and does not let her family or lovers define her.
The novel itself is very short but satisfying and is one of the few books that I think makes me a better person for having read it. Since I have been in relationships with people from China and other cultures the book really struck a cord and I could see much of my past relationships, both the highs and lows, in this fictional relationship. I am not usually one for novels about relationships and emotions but this one I felt was very well done.
If you have any interest in cross cultural relationships or just want a novel that is a nice change of pace then I highly recommend A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers.