Raped then murdered in Japanese-occupied Hong Kong, Lin Shui’s “Hungry Ghost” clings tenaciously to life. Just in time she finds a host off whom to feed. It is 12-year-old Alice Safford, the deeply troubled daughter of a leading figure in government. The parasitic ghost follows her to her home on The Peak. There, the lethal mix of the two, entangled in the Safford family’s web of secrets and lies, unleashes chaos. As successive tragedies engulf Alice, her ghostly entourage swells alarmingly. She flees in a bid to escape the past, only to find her portable “Hungry Ghosts” have accompanied her. It seems the peace she longs for is to prove far more elusive than she could ever have imagined.
Books often get off to a flying start, flag in the middle then deliver a triumphant ending, this book, for me at least, turned convention on its head. I struggled to get into the story and maintain interest in the early stages, my mind drifted as I began regretting my choice, but then about four hours into the story it very discreetly hijacked my attention and for the next ten driving hours the flame of my interest burned steadily, if not brightly.
By equal measures it frustrated and intoxicated me, frustrated because i never got a first person perspective from the main protagonist, but intoxicated for the lushious and vivid description. The author is definately not of the hollywood school of storytelling so if you want a story that follows a formula then you may feel unfulfilled but if you crave a story that satisfies on a much deeper level then the hungry ghosts is a definate contender for your attention.
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