Saturday, May 31, 2014

A 4-Star Review by Lauren Kathryn for "Fated and Fateless"

I can't express how thrilled I was to read this perceptive review by Lauren Kathryn, who is a seasoned reviewer at Goodreads.

Here's the full review by Lauren Kathryn:-

Fated and Fateless is a classic example of why I love to read.

I love the fact that I can learn so much, especially concerning other cultures, through the thoughts of an author. We had politics, Chinese cultures and details on social classes in the late 1900's. Anyone who knows me, knows that I really do not read historical fiction unless something really intrigues me. It has to capture my attention and hit me with a really hard poignant story line.

Fates and Fateless, you have entered my exclusive club. Congratulations!

So, the story itself concerns an array of different experiences, set across a vast timeline. Our main character, Wendy, starts out life, around the 1950s mark, with an overall negative stance. She had a tough childhood; her family were relatively poor and, even though she somewhat excelled at school, she is not able to progress. Her family's need for money keeps her behind.

Wendy learns the harsh, abrupt bluntness of life very quickly. Her childhood love, Edward, is from a wealthy background. Their social status hinders them. Edward and his manipulative sister Diana, advance their life skills by studying at University; all the while Wendy is struggling with various jobs, trying to accrue money to support her family.

From the offset we realise that Diana is a very harsh individual. It was clear when Wendy was reminiscing about her childhood, and it is clear as day when they are adults. She involved herself, and the family company, in a very dangerous game - with Wendy stumbling upon shocking truths one after another.

On the other hand, you can tell that Diana is driven - a trait Wendy also possesses. I think a few people have compared this to "good vs evil", and I can agree. Both our female characters harness the same traits, but both have alternative motives in life. I would say that it is pretty clear as to who is good and who is evil!

The key part of this book, and the part that really stuck with me, was it's focus on social class. As I have mentioned, I do not tend to read historical fiction, so this was an interesting, unknown territory for me. I was intrigued to find out how Wendy would approach these constant pitfalls, especially considering her social class was outranked by Diana, among others. She wanted to "step outside the box" and challenge society, but in their eyes, had society already decided? Does it base it's values simply due to an individual's roots and heritage? Or are we automatically assigned as the Fated or the Fateless?

Overall, the writing and story were very engaging. I felt an array of emotions whilst reading this book! The story was remarkable really. It delves into Chinese culture, and mixes it with a political/business scandal. The two, in theory, wouldn't mesh, but they do; which I think is testament to the author's writing and imagination.

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