Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung

Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung


How do you grieve, if your family doesn’t talk about feelings?

This is the question the unnamed protagonist of Ghost Forest considers after her father dies. One of the many Hong Kong “astronaut” fathers, he stays there to work, while the rest of the family immigrated to Canada before the 1997 Handover, when the British returned sovereignty over Hong Kong to China.

As she revisits memories of her father through the years, she struggles with unresolved questions and misunderstandings. Turning to her mother and grandmother for answers, she discovers her own life refracted brightly in theirs.

Buoyant and heartbreaking, Ghost Forest is a slim novel that envelops the reader in joy and sorrow. Fung writes with a poetic and haunting voice, layering detail and abstraction, weaving memory and oral history to paint a moving portrait of a Chinese-Canadian astronaut family.


My Review

Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent, excellent. This is a special book. I listened via audiobook, narrated by the author herself, which I’d highly recommend. I feel that audio is the way to go to get the full experience. I’d recommend it to everyone. It’s a collection of personal essays that in just about 3 1/2 hours of time, anyone can consume it over a short or long pace and still be satisfied. I think it would make for lovely book club discussion.

The Story
It’s the type of book that you just sit and ponder over each detail as it’s read to you. Much like listening to a campfire story, a story from grandma, a story that makes time stop, meeting you right where you’re at. It had my full attention and the value went both ways, this exchange of pensive glimpses into someone’s else’s life experiences that really felt both real and dreamy. Some were short and sweet, some without much context, others with more of a backstory as well as heavy and meditative.

Essays I really cherish, they were all great, but here’s the ones that have stuck with me a long time:
Journey to the West
Water Margin
Dream of the Red Chamber
Romance of the 3 Kingdoms
Ink Stick

The Writing
Everything was written so delicate and concise. I liked that.

Favorite Lines
“Before age 40 we use our health to make money, but after age 40 money can’t buy back our health. -A Cantonese proverb

View all my reviews

Grab some coffee or tea and Join Our Conversation!

What are your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest from the Blog

Love and Saffron by Kim Fay

The #1 Indie Next Pick, in the vein of the classic 84, Charing Cross Road and Meet Me at the Museum, this witty and tender novel follows two women in 1960s America as they discover that food really does connect us all, and that friendship and laughter are the best medicine.  When twenty-seven-year-old Joan Bergstrom sends a fan […]

Latest from the Blog

Estée Lauder A Beautiful Life by Aerin Lauder, Jane Lauder

Estée Lauder Youth-Dew Dusting Powder Box Absolutely captivating, with opulent flowers, rich spices, precious woods. Estée Lauder Free 7-Piece GiftYours with any purchase! Life in Beauty “Age is an irrelevancy to every woman. Glow is the essence of beauty, and it’s the absence of radiance that diminishes beauty-at any age.” ~Estée Lauder WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE […]

Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook

For readers of The Light Between Oceans and The Island of Sea Women, a feminist adventure story set against the backdrop of the dangerous pearl diving industry in 19th-century Western Australia, about a young English woman who sets off to uncover the truth about the disappearance of her eccentric father. Western Australia, 1886. After months at sea, a […]

Latest from the Blog

Latest from the Blog

100 Plants to Feed the Birds by Laura Erickson

Synopsis The growing group of bird enthusiasts who enjoy feeding and watching their feathered friends  will learn how they can expand their activity and help address the pressing issue of habitat loss with 100 Plants to Feed the Birds.   In-depth profiles offer planting and care guidance for 100 native plant species that provide food and shelter […]

%d bloggers like this: