book review: Little Gods by Meng Jin | BookBrowse



Custom House, January 2020


Little Gods, Meng Jin’s intricate, emotionally intelligent debut, opens with a scene in which physicist Su Lan gives birth in Beijing in 1989. Through the eyes of a nurse working the night shift, we learn that inside the hospital, Su Lan is abandoned by her husband, while outside, the violence of the June 4th Tiananmen Square Massacre erupts around her. The narrative then skips forward 17 years to Su Lan’s death.

The novel unfolds in a non-linear fashion; in the opening chapters we’re introduced to a shadow of the woman that Su Lan becomes—a distant, hardworking single mother—before we delve into the past and begin to reconstruct her character.

You can read the rest of my review HERE on BookBrowse, and you can read a piece I wrote about the Tienanmen Square Massacre HERE.

You can pick up a copy of Little Gods here on Book Depository.

10 thoughts on “book review: Little Gods by Meng Jin | BookBrowse

    • Ahhh thank you SO much! I’m so thrilled that someone is actually reading them, lol! Some are definitely more interesting than others (both from a reading and writing perspective) but I absolutely LOVED working on this Tienanmen Square one. I may have cried at one point.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review, and your article about the Tiananmen Square Massacre was very helpful! I really want to pick this up at some point. Of course because of the historical element, but I am also very intrigued by the use of multiple perspectives as a way of giving a full picture of the central character. I’m glad this book worked so well for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh thank you so much! I think you’re the third person in the comments to tell me they’ve read the Tienanmen Square article and honestly I’m surprised and honored at everyone’s interest! This was probably one of my favorite articles to write, though it did make me cry at one point. Anyway, I hope the book works for you as well if you do pick it up!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, this sounds really interesting! Did you ever read “Do Not Say We Have Nothing” by Madeleine Thien? Your review is reminding me a lot of that novel – she’s a Canadian so I’m not sure if it was widely known elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh no I DIDN’T!! I’ve had it on my shelf basically since it was published though, I have no idea what I’m waiting for! I do think it had quite a moment in the US, especially as it was shortlisted for both the Booker and the Women’s Prize that year.

      Liked by 1 person

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