Top critical review
Good story that could have been better
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 11, 2017
I have read and enjoyed other Kay Bratt books and have always had an interest in the Cultural Revolution so of course wasn’t going to miss this one about two young friends and the message they had for China through their underground newspaper. Although I loved the title and it’s meaning, I wasn’t drawn into the characters from the beginning; other book club commitments kept me from returning to this novel. While I am usually compelled by similar stories, I found this one very drawn out and I stopped reading about half way through. I also had a hard time understanding why she called one character Pony Boy and I was thinking about the various similarities to the young narrator from The Outsiders. I recently picked up the novel where I left off (nearly a year later) and found myself more attached and interested in the outcome so completed Benfu and Pony Boy’s heart wrenching stories in a few weeks. Why Mao is still so revered is something I will never understand. Lisa See’s “Dreams of Joy” was unforgettable and tore me up. I am looking forward to the rest of the series by Kay Bratt and to seeing how the future works out for some of these characters. I hope those books are more memorable than The Palest Ink.