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The Jade Peony - Wayson Choy I would have liked this book better if it had not been narrated by children. That's just me. I got through it only because I love Asian culture and as a Vancouverite, could easily follow along with the descriptions of the settings.

Part of what made this book a bit of a drag to read was the constant busyness of multiple characters thrown in, nevermind the fact the book has three different child-narrators. With all the bustle of many characters comes a lot of background information, flashbacks, foreshadowing, and unnecessarily detailing of things going on that had nothing really to do with the story. There was simply way too much going on all of the time. The only story that really held my interest amidst all of this, was the Liang/Wong Suk relationship. I absolutely adored the little girl with her adopted uncle, and could have easily read an entire book about their friendship and love. Sadly, it was the shortest story within the book and ended abruptly without much update, even though the girl is mentioned in her brothers' narrations as being an older girl.

I can't deny that Wayson Choy is a good writer, meaning he has a gift -- but in this case it was a matter of taste. I'm not keen on kids, not keen on multiple narrations, and found that too much going on at all times was a distraction. I still have his prequel on my to-be-read list, but that might change. I'm aware the prequel focuses on the elder brother Kiam, who did not get a turn at narration in this book. I'm leaving it open at this point because I hope that a single narration in All That Matters might be a bit better, but after The Jade Peony, I'm certainly in no rush.