Spring 1951: it is the fiery zenith of the Korean War, a war that the youthful US Army lieutenant Wesley Palm and his men thought that they had won… until the Chinese swept across the Yalu River.
Traveling with the million-man army bent on driving back the march of “American imperialism” is Jasmine Young, a Chinese surgeon who has volunteered herself into the war for unspoken, grave reasons. Through a chronicle of merciless battles, freezing winters, and the brutality and hypocrisy of human nature, the two will find themselves weaving through the twists and turns of fate and destiny. Though their love is forbidden, their passion and pursuit of liberty cannot be quenched.
Praise for The Dance of the Spirits
“…On the surface, The Dance of the Spirits is a story of love and of war, but on a deeper level, it is a story of the misery that the communist ideology brought to millions of souls in the twentieth century. Whether that philosophy is related to nationalism, internationalism or faith, Catherine Aerie reminds readers that when a system that will entertain no contradiction in thought or deed comes to power, no one is safe — and no one is free. Aerie draws a vivid picture of war and its price, and a tender image of love…” – Readers’ Favorite (5 Stars)
“…a love that is stronger than all the horrors that war can throw at them… compelling…poignant… sensitive and beautiful…” – San Francisco Book Reviews (4.5/ Stars)
“Adversaries in the Korean War find love in Aerie’s debut novel. The story starts in the middle of a firefight… Out of the rubble, two characters emerge: an American officer… and a Chinese military doctor… Their paths cross again and again… In the intimacy of the war, these coincidences don’t feel forced, nor even particularly fated–it’s just the way things went… Readers will likely find Palm a decent, very human person, but Young has more complexity and vibrancy… As the war rages around them, Palm and Young fall in love… but their romance is ill-starred and open to tragedy. Aerie keeps readers on their toes with the twists…fleeting but intense…
An often engaging tale of a flickering moment of love during a forgotten war.” – Kirkus Reviews
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About the Author
Catherine Aerie, a graduate from the University of California, Irvine with a master degree in finance, grew up in China as the daughter of a Shanghai architect. She was inspired to write The Dance of the Spirits while researching a family member’s role in the Korean War, deciding to revive an often neglected and overlooked setting in fiction and heighten the universality of resilient pursuit of love and liberty. Her debut novel was finished after about two years of research. She currently resides in southern California.
For more information please visit Catherine Aerie’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.
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Release Date: 16 November, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Genre: Historical Fiction
Review Written: 11 August, 2014
There's a trend with historical fiction that focuses around wars, namely that the book will probably focus on World War II or the American Civil War (at least here in the states). It's not unheard of to find fiction on other wars, but it's rare enough that finding one is a treat; a treat that's made sweeter when the novel is very well written and captivating.
The Dance of the Spirits draws us into the world in 1951, during the Korean War where American forces seem to be winning... that is until the Chinese come across the Yalu River. Army lieutenant Wesley Palm finds himself entangling with a young Chinese surgeon, Jasmine Young, who seems to be leading this crusade against the "American imperialism". Over a series of years and battles, the two twist and turn through their humanity and learning that the forces that unite can also pull things down again.
Aerie's writing is flowing and captivating, bringing to life the circumstances that bring our two protagonists together. She treads with care while keeping to the historical aspects of her novel, giving the readers a wonderful book to view.
I recommend this book if you have an interest in historical fiction war stories.