by Mingmei Yip
Pub. Date: May 25, 2012
Book received from: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Chinese Ficiton
Cover: Pretty and eye-catching, but does not say ‘1930s China’ to me
Characters: Good enough
Worth the read? Sure- if you are looking for something a bit different, with an edge of chick-lit
Tagline: The heart decides our destiny…
In an era where orphaned girls hold little value that is not derived from their bodies, Camilla is ‘rescued’ by gang leader Big Brother Wang to become the top mistress of Master Lung, his rival. Camilla is trained in singing, dancing, and other talents to aide her in being a better spy for Wang, ultimately leading to her assassinating Lung. However, things get complicated when two other equally gifted and conniving women come onto the scene, Shadow and Rainbow Chang. In 1930s China, the three women seemingly rule their worlds, but are constantly reminded of the threatening men who hold the power.
Skeleton Women was a quick and easy read that shed light on a culture I knew little about beforehand. Yip managed to make the world of a 1930s spy girl come to life, while not forgetting their pasts. As their stories played out, there is no way to stop reading until the end, even if it seems somewhat improbable at times. The female characters were all very quirky and interestingly delivered, in a strong, smart, and fresh way. However, the constant threat of the men who control them is not forgotten.
For me, there could have been a bit more depth to the story, but all in all it was a good read. The only thing that really bothered me was the repetition in parts of the story. I did not need to hear about Camilla’s 21-inch waist over and over and over again. I get it: she was tiny. It also would have like to have learned more about Shadow and Rainbow, as their characters were actually more interesting to me than Camilla herself. The excerpts of Rainbows news stories were an interesting and entertaining touch throughout the story and could have been given much more highlighting.
Yip delivers a fun and different kind of read. Those who like historical fiction or romance, as well as chick lit or spy novels will find something to like with Skeleton Women.
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‘Skeleton Women’ can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as your local independent bookseller.
For more about Mingmei Yip, go to his website here.