Dandelion by Jamie Chai Yun Liew: Book Review

Dandelion by Jamie Chai Yun Liew: Book Review

DandelionDandelion by Jamie Chai Yun Liew
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dandelion is a story about roots and where you come from. No matter where you go, you can never fully separate yourself from your motherland.

Dandelion is not your typical immigration story. Lily’s mother left her family when she was just 11. From that moment, Lily has been trying to discover who she is and where she came from and who she is. As she has her own daughter, she begins the journey searching for her lost mother, and finds out who she is.

I learned a lot from this story about immigration from the Chinese perspective and more about the Chinese diaspora. This book brought up a lot for me about the idea of home and where you are from. I think a lot about the idea of place and ancestral homes, especially when it comes to the Black experience. It was a new learning opportunity to see how many different areas of the world Chinese people planted roots and called home.

Being stateless and not having a country to claim was just as bad as being homeless in her parents’ eyes. This brought in a whole new perspective on immigration for me. Yes, this is a story about trying to find a better life in a western country, but it’s also about the nostalgia and connection one has with knowing where they come from.

One aspect of the story I connected to was that feeling of not being cultured enough, but not being white enough to assimilate. Lily was caught between the two worlds of growing up Chinese, but being Canadian. She had a home, and she had status in the country, but being caught in these two worlds still made it difficult.

I would definitely recommend this story, especially for the different perspective on home and immigration.

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