Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Dance of the Spirits, by Catherine Aerie

Love can still be found even during a war

Set in the period of the Korean War we follow the lives of two people who will be drawn together through circumstance and find that they get more than they thought possible.

Jasmine is a Chinese citizen who grew up in a wealthy family and found their wealth destroyed with the advance of Chairman Mao and the Communist. She was studying to be a doctor and found that it took every last penny of their money to get her education completed because of the change in Economics. Eventually Jasmine volunteers to join the military as a doctor so that her family will be safe from harm, if she is a good volunteer the local communist will leave her family alone.

Wesley on the other hand is an American Serviceman who is smart, handsome, tall, muscular and an officer (Lieutenant). He is brave, courageous and resourceful. He is everything the U.S. Military wants in an officer.

Jasmine on the other hand is not want the Chinese Military truly wants. She serves in a POW camp treating wounded and captured United Nations Soldiers. Because she shows care and compassion and even finds medicine on her own she is reprimanded by her leaders for giving too much aid to the enemy. As a punishment and to re-train her thinking she is sent to the front lines of the war.

Through a series of events Wesley saves Jasmine's life. He rescues her and brings her to a Military hospital where they discover that she is a doctor and speaks fluent English and Chinese. She is given the task to help treat captured Korean and Chinese soldiers as well as serve some of the United Nations personnel.

The story unfolds the cruelty of the Chinese Communist take over of China. In a lengthy dissertation our author points out quite well how the upper class Chinese were forced out of power, robbed of their wealth, and replaced by the working class as the leaders. It wasn't fair and it wasn't always gentle. Even local Pastor's were treated terribly.

Wesley and Jasmine fall in love. But what can happen when they are from different sides in the conflict (yeah, Korea was never a war, just a conflict). Can they find happiness? Will they be able to remain together? Or will their love tear them apart and force each to loose themselves in the war and not care about their own well-being?

My only criticism of the writing is that Catherine has extremely long chapters. They could better be seen as Sections and the Sections broken down into shorter Chapters. Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing bad about this, but our current culture is fast paced, quick snippets, as driven into us by television and the short time periods. Catherine is a classic writer, but just know that you are going to have some long Chapters. But don't get discouraged.

The writing is so well done that you will find yourself reading for hours without any desire to put the book down.

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