Customer Review

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaves you wondering..., 3 Mar 2011
This review is from: Crossing (Paperback)
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Crossing is an intriguing and taut little novel.

Xing Xu is one of only two Chinese pupils in an otherwise white school. The other one, Naomi Lee, has a nicely camouflaged name, is pretty and has an excellent grasp of English. By contrast, Xing is male, gauche and withdrawn. His father is dead and he barely sees his mother. Already an outsider, he alienates himself further with his attitude.

The result is that most people Xing meets are not very nice to him. He is bullied, tormented and finds himself slowly eclipsed by Naomi as she, a more recent immigrant, successfully integrates herself in the school's social network. Meanwhile, misery loves company and Jan, a strange new girl finds herself seeking solace with Xing as she, too, receives the school's cold shoulder.

Xing presents a wry narration, exposing both the shallowness of others' lives and also gives an insight into his own deeper thoughts. We find an intelligent, witty, likeable man battling heroically, stoically against the odds. Xing refuses to compromise his integrity just to fit in with others whose company he has never actually desired. He is not envious, just disdainful.

Then two things start to happen. Pupils from the school start to disappear, some of them later found to have been murdered. Meanwhile, Xing finds himself taken under the wing of the slightly forbidding music teacher and groomed for the lead role in the school's musical. This appears to offer Xing the opportunity at last for acceptance; a talent that he can display. A talent that can make his mother proud; which might even win the heart of Naomi Lee. Most of all, a talent that he inherited from his late father whose time on earth seems otherwise to have been without achievement.

At this point, the novel becomes ambiguous; it can be interpreted in one of two ways. Perhaps this demonstrates that truth will always come second to prejudice; we believe what we want to believe, or perhaps what we expect to believe. The ending leaves the reader thinking - perhaps feeling self-justified in having been right or perhaps surprised at being wrong. Or perhaps just wondering...

Please read Crossing, it is a little gem and augurs very well for the future writing career of Andrew Xia Fukuda.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Dec 2013 09:40:39 GMT
If you critique the plot in so much detail people will not have a need to read it.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Dec 2013 20:53:27 GMT
If you read the book, you'd see that's not what I had done at all.
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MisterHobgoblin
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