“Two Trees Make a Forest: Travels Among Taiwan’s Mountains & Coasts in Search of My Family’s Past by Jessica J. Lee
“Two Trees Make a Forest is a finely faceted meditation on memory, love, landscape — and finding a home in language. Its short, shining sections tilt yearningly towards one another; in form as well as content, this is a beautiful book about the distance between people and between places, and the means of their bridging.” — Robert Macfarlane
This is about a woman discovering, reminiscing about her Taiwanese roots, trying to unmuddle her parent’s & grandparent’s history. The narrative thread that ties it all together is her travel through the mountains, and on the coasts of Taiwan. She also talks about the flora and fauna of Taiwan a lot. I enjoyed those bits too because I used to hike a lot in Taiwan, but since I didn’t grow up here, I’m totally clueless about the local plants.
Since her grandparents were born in China, and got caught up in WW2, and participated in the mass migration to Taiwan, this is also a history book. It’s not too deep though, so this is a good book for people unfamiliar with the history of China/Taiwan. I actually bought two copies of this book, one for me and one for great-grandma in Canada.
An incredible book that weaves together a family history she is grasping to understand once her grandparents are long gone. I feel like this author. I’m Greek-Canadian but my Greek grandparents and father died when I was young. I wish I could’ve picked their brain and heard more of their stories before they left. I have some old photos, so sometimes I go through them and try to imagine what their life was like. How did they feel about moving from Greece to Canada? I am now an expat myself, so it feels like I come from a long line of expats (3rd generation!). I guess wandering is in my family’s blood.
Rating: ★★★★★ Book #98 in my My 2020 Reading Challenge #BookReview #Books #JessicaJLee #Taiwan #history #memoir #biography #China”,