THE DRINK AND DREAM TEAHOUSE
Little Brown, Oct 2001, 23.95, 360 pp.
In Shaoyang, China the generation gaps between family members is as wide as the Great Wall. Differences between the outlooks of three age groups can be seen everywhere in the city as heritage and custom war with the encroachment of modernization. The geriatric set still dreams of a return to the "glory" days of Chiang. The “baby boomers" cherish the memories of the ideals of Maoism. While the Gen X and Y crowd employ western style economics.
Da Shan renounced his parents beliefs in communism as he adopts quite nicely to the free market before returning home a wealthy businessman even as his hometown's factory closes. His deserted girlfriend Liu Bei supports their son through another western economic system, prostitution. Meanwhile another young woman Peach sees Da Shan as a means of escape even as she spends time with a peasant. The future is confusing for everyone as seniors, middle age, and the young skirmish for control of twenty-first century China.
THE DRINK AND DREAM TEAHOUSE is an insightful look at modern day China through three generations of several families. The story line uses wit and humor to ease the austere outlook that each age group feels betrayed by what they most cherish. The characters are the key to this novel as the ensemble cast brings home a vivid disparity within a complex story line worth reading by those interested in an engaging look at an awakening giant.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner