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Confucius Jane    by Katie Lynch order for
Confucius Jane
by Katie Lynch
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's a delightful and an unusual love story, and not because the lovers are both women. Katie Lynch's Confucius Jane takes us deep into the culture, community life and familial interactions of New York City's Chinatown, while addressing intriguing topics, ranging from the production of fortune cookie sayings to found poetry and stem cell research.

The Jane of the title is half-Chinese Jane Morrow who is on leave from university where she studied poetry until her beloved adviser died suddenly and much too young. Now she stays in Chinatown with her aunt and uncle, sharing a room with her delightfully precocious young cousin Minette (a crusader for social justice), and inventing sayings to assist with her uncle's business, a fortune cookie factory. From the desk where she writes, Jane looks down on the dumpling restaurant across the street, which is where she spies The Goddess in Glasses.

Sutton St. James is a medical student, facing a difficult decision in the near future - to pursue the surgical residency desired by her famed father (a former Surgeon General) or follow her heart to study stem cell research in Europe, in the hope that said research might eventually give relief to many terrible ailments, including the multiple sclerosis suffered by her mother. Minette facilitates their coming together, even though Sutton resists a relationship, knowing that she is unlikely to be in New York for very much longer.

It's a sweet story (and if you enjoy Chinese food, it will have you salivating). I enjoyed it very much even though Sutton's nasty dad was just a bit too much of a rotter to be really credible.

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