Skip to main content

Waiting by Ha Jin

I have a feeling Waiting by Ha Jin (2000) is going to be one of those novels that stays with me, even though I have no plans to read the story again.

Set in China, the story is about Lin, a doctor who marries the bride of his parents' choice, Shuyu, only to fall in love with a nurse, Manna. Since his only option for divorce without Shuyu's consent is to be separated for eighteen years, he lives his life as an army physician in a platonic relationship with Manna while visiting his wife and daughter in the village once a year to ask Shuyu for a divorce.

During the final section of the book, Lin and Manna are finally together. The passage of time and what happens to you along the way have a way of changing any relationship, though, and having waited so very long to be together can only add extra pressure and expectations.

Jin does an excellent job of providing a character study of Manna and, especially, Lin and their changes over time. I found the book very depressing, though well-written and thought-provoking.

My overall personal rating of Waiting is a B+.


Popular posts from this blog

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor

The May selection for my work book club is Jon McGregor's If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (2002). The novel follows various individuals in one neighborhood on a particular day, an ordinary day that ends with a terrible tragedy.

Here's the short set of questions I e-mailed to book club members yesterday, along with my own responses.

Did you have a favorite character, or one that spoke to you the most? Who and why?
The father with the burned hands is the one who stayed with me the most after reading the book.

Did you notice that the day on which the events unfold is actually the same day that Diana, Princess of Wales, died? Does knowing that make any difference in how you see the story? I wouldn't have made the connection if I hadn't just watched some of the coverage of the Royal Wedding. To quote the author, he chose this particular day because his novel is about how ". . .everyday miracles of life and death go unwitnessed in favor of celebrity and sensati…

Current Little Pleasures

Girls' weekend in Omaha with Maya and her friend.

Happy Buddha:  Sweet Orange and Cedar Shower Foam from RITUALS

Time for iced or blended peppermint mochas.

Shopping for little gifts for Maya's Japanese pen pal.  They were matched through their schools, and we're hoping she can stay with us for a few days this summer.

The flock of wild turkeys, foxes, and other assorted wildlife entertaining us this fall.

Thanksgiving plans to visit my sister.

Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas is back!

Current Little Pleasures

Christmas Keepsake Week, July 14-23, filled with Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Sending Christmas (in July) cards with a Peace greeting to some of my favorite people.  Why not??

Scott Tube Free Toilet Paper--nothing to recycle.

Haagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream--always!

Baby Driver movie.

Seeing photos from my sisters and niece on Facebook during their Italy trip.  I can't imagine they will want to come back home!

What are your current little pleasures?