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Daughter of China - eBook
History Maker Publishing / 2012 / ePub
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Nonfiction might have been a better vehicle for the story told in this debut inspirational novel by Flinchbaugh, who has reported on the plight of persecuted Christians around the world for several religious magazines. Her first-person fictional account of 19-year-old Kwan Mei Lin chronicles religious oppression, discrimination against women and the horrific conditions of orphanages in China. The novel kicks off as Mei Lin dreams of escaping poverty and Communist oppression in Tanching Village by getting a university education. Her Christian faith soon gets her into trouble with local authorities, and her fervent evangelistic efforts land her in a dismal prison. When she convinces the guards to let her clean other prisoners' cells, Mei Lin subversively shares her faith, and multiple conversions follow. After a miraculous release, she helps a young girl who has escaped from a Shanghai orphanage to find a new life of freedom, resulting in yet another conversion. The novel offers some nice details of Chinese culture and several poignant scenes of abandoned and neglected children. Despite the emotional themes, however, the overall tone is surprisingly passionless and stilted because of long passages of dialogue. Many of the conversions seem simplistic or contrived, and the suspense never builds to anything more than a gentle concern for the characters. In the end, the novel succeeds as a plea for Christians to better understand the church's situation in China, but fails to offer a compelling literary story.
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