Sometimes, melancholy is depressing and dark, but sometimes it is beautiful. In this instance, I found beauty. I found so much about this story to be rich and enchanting, despite the heavy nature of the material. First off, I was really intrigued by the setting of Depression era Seattle. Having never been to the city (but longing to go), I thought the author did a good job painting a rich tapestry of life in that time and place. I felt it was very descriptive. Similarly, the angle of how the Depression affected the Chinese community was one I would never have considered without reading this book.
As with other orphan stories, my heart just broke for the children involved. William is an innocent, but in many ways, Willow is an innocent as well. Both are victims of circumstance. The juxtaposition of both of their stories gives the book a very intimate feel. The book will appeal to fans of heartfelt multi generational stories, fans of historic fiction, and fans of stories with ethnic themes.