contents // books and zines + music + kar kulture + art and design + photography + DIY + civil disobedience + assorted madness

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

BOOK REVIEW & SPOTLIGHT: The Dance of the Spirits by Catherine Aerie

Title: The Dance of the Spirits
Author: Catherine Aerie
Genre: Historical Fiction


Spring 1951: it is the fiery zenith of the Korean War, a war that the youthful US Army lieutenant Wesley Palm and his men thought that they had won … until the Chinese swept across the Yalu River. Traveling with the million-man army bent on driving back the march of “American imperialism” is Jasmine Young, a Chinese surgeon who has volunteered herself into the war for unspoken, grave reasons. Through a chronicle of merciless battles, freezing winter, and the brutality and hypocrisy of human nature, the two will find themselves weaving through the twist and turns of fate and destiny, where an unquenchable passion, a resilient pursuit of liberty, and an inherent dignity light the darkness against the vast sky of a warring world and of nation and cultures that stand shattered and divided by the same forces that unify them.

My Review:

The Dance of the Spirits is an incredible book! Exhaustively researched, richly descriptive and beautifully written, and a complexity of storyline seen only in some of the finest classics. The story weaves its way through the lives separately and together of a young Chinese doctor named Jasmine Young and US Army Lieutenant Wesley Palm and the fateful alliance they forge against the brutal and foul backdrop of the Korean conflict. An ugly conflict largely and unfairly overlooked in history. The author details the gilded and then unfortunate coming of age of the protagonist as the communist regime comes to power in her homeland, and the harsh reality of war and government’s disregard of individual value.
The character development is stunning, the narrative poetic and Catherine Aerie’s astonishing command of the language is absolutely beyond compare. This book will take a special place on my bookshelf and in my heart as a book cherished and reread for the rest of my life. It’s that good. You will be doing yourself a tremendous disservice to not read this masterpiece.

About The Author:

Catherine Aerie, a graduate from the University of California, Irvine with a master degree in finance. She was inspired to write “The Dance of the Spirits” while researching a family member’s role in the Korean War, deciding to revive an often neglected and overlooked setting in fiction and heighten the universality of resilient pursuit of love and liberty. Her debut novel was finished after about two years of research. She currently resides in southern California.



Barnes and Noble: