Little Gods

Little Gods Review

“Meng Jin is a writer whose sweep is as intimate as it is global.  Little Gods is a novel about the heart-wracking ways in which we move through history and time.  A fierce and intelligent debut from a writer with longitude and latitude embedded in her vision.” -- Colum McCann

Combining the emotional resonance of Home Fire with the ambition and innovation of Asymmetry, a lyrical and thought-provoking debut novel that explores the complex web of grief, memory, time, physics, history, and selfhood in the immigrant experience, and the complicated bond between daughters and mothers.

On the night of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, a woman gives birth in a Beijing hospital alone. Thus begins the unraveling of Su Lan, a brilliant physicist who until this moment has successfully erased her past, fighting what she calls the mind’s arrow of time.

When Su Lan dies unexpectedly seventeen years later, it is her daughter Liya who inherits the silences and contradictions of her life. Liya, who grew up in America, takes her mother’s ashes to China—to her, an unknown country. In a territory inhabited by the ghosts of the living and the dead, Liya’s memories are joined by those of two others: Zhu Wen, the woman last to know Su Lan before she left China, and Yongzong, the father Liya has never known. In this way a portrait of Su Lan emerges: an ambitious scientist, an ambivalent mother, and a woman whose relationship to her own past shapes and ultimately unmakes Liya’s own sense of displacement.

A story of migrations literal and emotional, spanning time, space and class, Little Gods is a sharp yet expansive exploration of the aftermath of unfulfilled dreams, an immigrant story in negative that grapples with our tenuous connections to memory, history, and self.

Title:Little Gods
Edition Language:English

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    Little Gods Reviews

  • Angela M

    Giving up at 25%. I just cant seem to connect with the distance Im feeling from these characters....

  • Bkwmlee

    As I sit down to write this review, Im struggling a bit because Im trying to figure out what my feelings are toward this book. Normally, when I read a book, I will either gravitate towards one side or...

  • Ash

    Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.I have a lot of complicated feelings about this one, which always seems to be the case...

  • JimZ

    Overall I liked this book a lot. This is Meng Jins debut novel, so I hope there is more of writing to come in the future.You can get a synopsis of the book from Goodreadsthe one thing that I liked was...

  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    This was an elegant story about a young woman trying to understand her parents after her mothers death. She returns to China to also try to find her father. The author plays a bit with time and perspe...

  • Barbara

    Reading Meng Jins Little Gods was like trying to remember and to note a dream. The whole novel felt dream-like to me, changing in time and place. Little Gods is a story of an impoverished young Chines...

  • Elle Rudy

    With rich, attentive writing Meng Jin transports us through both time and territory to late 20th century China in a novel about the complexities of long-lost family ties. Told as a series of stories a...

  • Chris Blocker

    Meng Jins debut novel, Little Gods, is such a gorgeously constructed story. Its built on a sturdy frame, decorated beautifully, but it will have some readers scratching their heads saying, but what is...

  • Amerie

    AMERIES BOOK CLUB | FEBRUARY 2020 SELECTIONQuantum physics meets motherhood, love, and identity in this haunting portrayal of a daughters desperation to be seen and a mothers desperation to disappear....

  • Theresa

    Beautiful cover art but I did not connect to any of the characters in "Little Gods". The tone felt awkward. I also didn't care for the writing style. It really bugged me that there wasn't any quotatio...