Now that the snow days are behind us and the kids are back in school on a regular basis, I’ve had On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee in my ears whenever I can. B.D. Wong is the narrator for the audiobook. I wasn’t sure if I liked his style at first, but his tone fit the mood of the dystopian world of future B-mor (Baltimore for us present day folks). The novel follows Fan, who leaves the safety of B-mor to search for her love:
In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. And the members of the labor class—descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China—find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement.
In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan’s journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.
Though I’m halfway through the 11-hour long audiobook, it’s gotten to the point where my impatience is kicking in. As I’m such a fast reader, I want to pick up a print copy and speed through the rest of the novel. Instead I’ll just savor the rest of the audiobook and Fan’s story unfold.
On Such a Full Sea is the first book of Chang-rae Lee that I’ve read and it certainly won’t be my last. Have you read his books? Which one should I read next?
What are you reading today?
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