Before we get started with anything – I just wanted to let all my followers (on whatever network/medium) know that there’s a great Rafflecopter Raffle for THREE hardback editions of Double Happiness Available!
Title: Double Happiness
Author: Tony Brasunas
Genre: Travel, Coming Of Age Novels, American Literature
Published: December 12,, 2013
Page Amount: 354 pages (PDF Given by: Closed The Cover)
Blurb From Goodreads: At twenty-two, Tony Brasunas had never left the United States, nor taught a class on anything. The journey that changed him forever, that broke open his heart and awakened his mind, began in a high school classroom in hot, coastal Guangzhou, China, and culminated on the plateaus of Tibet.
A journey into the heart of a changing China and through the soul of a young American, Double Happiness is a groundbreaking story of spiritual awakening in the era of globalization.
This is a tale for armchair travelers, English teachers, China buffs, adventure backpackers, young people in their twenties and thirties seeking a place in this shrinking world, and readers of all ages curious about a young man’s coming of age in a foreign land.
Why Read: I was offered this book to read by Closed The Cover, a great company, who gave me the chance to read and review it. Probably I would have found my way to the book eventually because armchair travel book and all that, but I’m so glad I got the opportunity to give it a shot (because let me tell you, China has never seemed so interesting).
Review: I normally don’t read so many books on Eastern Asia, it’s always been areas such as Eastern Europe or Southern Europe that have captured my interest. So it was lucky that Closed The Cover, a literary marketing agency, found me. Double Happiness was a great read for a number of reasons.
Whether you are interested in China, travel in general or ‘coming of age’ novels, Double Happiness would hit all of those buttons. I absolutely adored the little bits of Chinese that were sparsely placed throughout the book, allowing the reader to connect more with the Chinese culture and Tony’s growth from nervous traveler to confident (to an extent) teacher.
The combination between Tony’s personal life and the Chinese sentiment that surrounds the assimilation of Hong Kong and death of Deng Xiaoping is powerful. On one hand, it seems effortless to read, as we juggle his thoughts on the newest girl with the moments of quiet strength as he begins to realize that to understand China, one must accept much of what China is.
His journeys, whether it be to the Great Wall or the Forbidden City, are exciting and will motivate even the most lazy (that being myself) to want to visit this amazing country. His teaching methods evolve from something that would be found in a general manual to a personalized style that brings out what makes each student enjoy English.
Although sometimes I was a bit confused as to the timeline of the story, ultimately it ended up not mattering so much. As the plot moves up and down, I saw that maybe the mixture of personal teaching life, travel stories, and the larger picture was potent. The title Double Happiness could mean one of many things. But I believe it most accurately refers to the happiness of completing what he set out to do and the happiness of feeling aware in every sense of the world. That Tony finishes the novel feeling happiness on both planes is well deserved, and hopefully as a reader –you’ll feel the same.
Rating: 4.6/5 Stars
Review Coming Soon: The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe