Blog Tour: The Leavers by Lisa Ko.

Hi, and welcome to my stop on The Leavers blog tour!

'One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.

With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It’s the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away--and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

This powerful debut is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.'

My thoughts...

The Leavers for me was a slow burn sort of read, but in no way do I mean that as a bad thing. The writing was so beautiful I wanted to take my time with it, and truly savour the story. I loved the vivid descriptions of New York and China, I found myself getting lost in it. I really enjoyed following Deming through his life, and found him an incredibly sympathetic character. I felt like I could really understand his struggle to find somewhere he truly belonged because Lisa Ko wrote it so evocatively.

The Leavers is about identity but also about how a single decision effects the rest of your life. It's about being an immigrant, feeling like an outsider, and the love between mother and son. The writing is very human, and very real. The fact that this is a debut novel is even more impressive.

I absolutely loved The Leavers and felt such an emotional connection to the characters and the writing. I already know this is going to be one of my favourite reads of the year, and I highly recommend it. Seriously: read it!

'He was forever waiting to get past the secret entrance, and when the ropes did part he could never fully believe he was in. Another door materialised, another rope to get past, always the promise of something better.'

The Leavers is out on the 26th April, get it here.

[Huge thanks to Grace at Little Brown for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review]

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