I love everything about “The Language of Solitude” by Jan-Phillip Sendker, the author of “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats.” I received a copy of this book for my honest review.
Kudos To Jan-Phillip Sendker for his amazing storytelling. I found that I was captivated by every word, and just couldn’t put this book down. That may explain the dark circles under my eyes. There are just so many layers to this story, and many themes to ponder over.
The genres of this story are Literary Fiction and Mystery. In my opinion there is also Romance,Crime and Suspense. Although this is not Historic fiction, it does bring a little “essence” of this into this realm.
The story takes place in Hong Kong and China. I find that the author’s descriptions of the lakes, villages, factories, homes, hotels,apartments, people and food are so vivid, and mesmerizing. The transition of older China and the newer industrialized China is discussed. There seem to be so many sights to see in Hong Kong as well.
In addition ,the author depicts the different traditions in Hong Kong and China and compares and contrasts these to America. The politics and legal actions in these countries differ from those in the West. Some of the older Chinese people are intimidated by their government and laws.
The characters are complex and complicated and flawed. They come from different backgrounds that hold different traditions and believes, Some of these characters have carried the burden of silence. There are secrets. I love that music is involved in this story, and how it is shown in some of the characters lives.
Paul Leibovitz comes from the west, but is living in Hong Kong, and is familiar with Chinese history and traditions. He speaks English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. He suffers from a loss and has led a life of solitude until he meets his girlfriend Christine Wu. Christine lives with her son near her mother, and takes the ferry to be with Paul.
One day, Christine gets a letter from a brother that she thought was dead. He is alive and is in China, and needs her help. Christine and Paul go and meet her brother, and find that his wife is very ill. She is not the only one ill in their village. There are other women, who suddenly have become ill as well. Paul remembers from his days as a journalist that something sounds familiar. What is causing these people to become so sick,? Who can help them? Why isn’t the local government looking into this?
The author describes betrayal, loyalty, strength and weakness,and following one’s convictions. He also describes, family, love and hope. We also learn about environmental issues, the legal systems of old and new China, politics and corruption.
I would highly recommend this novel as an intriguing and suspenseful novel. It is so very hard to put down, and I was sad when it ended. This is a type of novel which causes much thought on many issues.