Tiger tail soup書評 – review of ‘Tiger tail soup’

Good thing about being a blogger is that I can write about many things. Few months ago I made a review of ‘Good Chinese Wife’ by Susan Blumberg-Kason and after that I’ve been asked once again to give my opinion about the book. I have to say it’s an honor to me that someone6-Tiger-Tail-Soup has seen a potential in me so I want to thank so much for an opportunity to review ‘Tiger tail soup’ by Nicki Chen – lovely AMWF writer.

Even though ‘Tiger tail soup’ is a work of fiction, the story was inspired by her deceased husband – his early childhood on Kulangsu and the fact that he introduced her to Chinese culture. I have to say that you can see his influence in the book: Nicole writing shows how familiar she is with Chinese language and customs. Somebody might say that talking about ‘amah’ etc. might be confusing to someone has no knowledge about Asia, but I think it’s a great chance to learn something new and that’s never a bad thing.

Anyway, the story of ‘Tiger tail soup’ is set in China in years 1938-1946 which is the time of Second Sino-Japanese war. When the first bombs fall, the main character An Lee is pregnant and her husband is missing so it’s up to An Lee to protect her ‘whole family which includes mother, mother-in-law, young daughter, and soon-to-be-born son. Surrounded by the Japanese military, An Lee struggles to survive, enduring hunger, loneliness, and fear. Then, on December 7, 1941, the enemy invades and occupies their little island on the coast of China, and An Lee’s strength is put to the test.

First great thing about the book is the interesting and intense story. Second thing is the language Nicole uses. Her writing is made of elegant language, very detailed, focused on describing places and feelings. You can see it with your own eyes, you can feel the emotions running through your body. I simply love her narration, through the person of An Lee I can feel fear, I can feel hunger, I can feel the pain.
I also love the character development and the way An Lee is – we see a woman caught up in war, an ordinary innocent person who had to face the unknown future. Someone who had to be strong for her family and handle everything. I’m so glad to read about person so strong.

Besides being a really interesting book I can relate to the emotions shown in the book since my husband’s outside grandparents were image (15)young people during the occupation of Shanghai by Japanese. My husband told me some of his grandfather’s stories how he was surviving that tough time and I guess everyone can somehow relate to the feelings and situations shown in the ‘Tiger tail soup’. World War II was not so long ago, we can still hear the real stories and memories of people who have been there,we might even have them in our own family, including my great-grandmother and I think that’s another reason why this book is good to read for everyone.

I wanted to make a nice conclusion at the end but I think Nicki made the best one: at the front page of the book she left a message ‘In honor of strong women everywhere‘. I think it’s a great piece of writing for everyone.

You can order this book e in paperback and as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes And Noble or you can try out your local bookstores . And for more visit Nicki’s personal site: http://nickichenwrites.com/

About the author
Hi, I’m Nicki Chen, a fiction writer living in Edmonds, WA, a lovely little town on Puget Sound only a ferry ride away from the Olympic Peninsula.
My novels, which travel back in history and across the ocean, were inspired by places I’ve been and people I’ve known. The stories behind those stories are the main topics of this blog.130626aljhchenn_09
I grew up in Sedro-Woolley, WA, a child who loved fairy tales and art and swimming, a teenager who liked boys and dancing. At Seattle University, I studied theology, philosophy and elementary education. My kindergarten students were adorable. My 9th-grade Spanish students were sweet in a teenage sort of way. Soon my husband and I had our own children (3 daughters in 4 years). Then we moved to the Philippines where we stayed for the next 15 years.
Being an expat wife meant ladies’ club activities and school board service, painting and batik-ing, dinner parties and beach trips. I almost finished an MBA. Then I got serious and signed up for an MFA in Creative Writing through Vermont College. We were living in the South Pacific by the time I completed it.
After my husband’s death, I started work on my first novel, Tiger Tail Soup, a historical novel that tells the story of a Chinese woman struggling to survive the Japanese invasion of her homeland. Currently I’m working on a second novel, this one about a woman who in her eagerness to follow the advice of a fertility doctor, convinces her husband to move to a small island in the South Pacific.

So what do you think guys? Would you like to read ‘Tiger tail soup’? Or maybe you know someone who would be interested in it? Share your thoughts about it! 
PS Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube because BIG NEWS ARE COMING NEXT WEEK! I’M SO EXCITED TO TELL YOU!

36 thoughts on “Tiger tail soup書評 – review of ‘Tiger tail soup’

  1. I love Nicki’s writing and I am sure the book is decorated with beautiful descriptions!! I look forward to purchasing my own copy of it soon and reading it!

    Oh, and what exciting news do you want to share with us? Come on, don’t leave us in suspense. I am guessing there is a mini-Sing or mini- Lina on the way. Am I right? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. when you have some free time between writing your own book and the blog it’s realy worth to get it 🙂

      ekhm, I said good big news, not good news for Momzilla haha 🙂 I let everyone wonder, I should reveal it around Monday when it’s confirmed 🙂


        1. I can’t tell you anything yet – I just want everyone to wonder haha 🙂 maybe I should take bets? I think it should be confirmed around Monday, but maybe earlier so the post I prepared to announce the thing may pop out every moment haha 🙂


  2. Ooh now I have a new book to add to my reading list! It will be nice to see a new perspective of the Sino-Japanese war, because not only did WWII affect China, Japan, Europe, and the US, it also affected the future of my husband’s country of Taiwan. I definitely need to learn more about his history.

    And big news?? I hope your not leaving the US because I was hoping to make it to California next year! But even if you are, maybe luck will let our paths cross sometime in the future 🙂

    I’m very bad at commenting (I never get on the desktop for anything but work) but I’m going to try to comment more!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hoping to! We have to visit Taiwan and Japan next year so maybe on the way back we were thinking of doing a few days in California (definitely have to visit Disneyland!). I’m going to procrastinate some more and take a look now! Thanks! 🙂


  3. Definitely a relatable book. I’ve heard stories from my grandma. We’re in Malaysia, but because we’re also ethnic Chinese, we’ve had it rough too during the Japanese occupation. My grandma talked about eating tree barks and worms because there was nothing else to eat 😦
    Let me guess the BIG NEWS. You got a job?? Or Sing got transferred back to HK??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear about your granny 😦 it always makes me sad to hear those stories 😦
      I can’t tell you now – I will be a mean girl and just let you all know that I know something and you don’t. I have news I have the power haha

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The book is still on my “to do list” for this year and I hope I will get around to order it soonish (just too much happening here).
    I believe I follow Nicki’s blog soon for a year and it is always facinating for me how well she writes and makes each article enjoyable to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for reviewing Tiger Tail Soup on myhongkonghusband. I was crossing my fingers, hoping you would like it. Now I’m looking forward to your big news next week.


  6. Suteiko, I’m glad you’re interested in reading Tiger Tail Soup. The setting for the novel is Xiamen and the small nearby island of Gulangyu. Both are only a ferry ride away from your husband’s country of Taiwan. You may already know that the people from Xiamen and Taiwan have a shared history and language. My novel ends in 1946, but my late husband’s family fled China in 1949, and with many other Nationalists settled in Taiwan. They lived there for a few years, and then my father-in-law’s job with a Chinese shipping company took them to Yokohama, where my husband spent his middle school and high school years studying at an international school.


  7. I love dropping in on Nicki’s blog to see what stories she writes there, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this too! I’ve got a huge pile of “to read” books for my uni course and JLPT exam right now… but come January, I’ll be buying books “for fun” like you won’t believe it. 😉 This will be one of them! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Catsholiday, I haven’t read “Cloud Mountain,” but I looked at the reviews, and it looks really interesting.

      Another author I love who writes about that era is Han Su-Yin. She wrote a three-volume autobiography: “The Crippled Tree,” “A Mortal Flower,” and “Birdless Summer,” that cover the years from 1885 to 1948. She’s also a novelist, so the books in her autobiography read like novels.


  8. in case you haven’t had read or heard of the book, i’d like to recommend one for you: Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah. i think you might enjoy it. i certainly did. quite sad. but clearly reflects old chinese cultural attitude towards women/females in the family.


  9. It does seem really interesting, I’d like to read it if I can find it with not too much trouble! I just watched a film called Flower of War, about the Japanese invasion in China, and it had a great impact on me. I’d like to read and see more of the topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Minna. I’m glad you’re interested in reading TIGER TAIL SOUP. I hope you’ll be able to find it. Do you have access to Amazon or barnesandnoble.com? The book is also available to bookstores through major book wholesalers: Ingram and Baker & Taylor. You might ask your favorite bookstore to order it for you.


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