Title: Country of Daughters: A Novel
Author: Bijou Li
A conflict between modernity and tradition, a
clash between a dreamer and a cynic…
Yily is excited about her new job: promoting tourism in the Country of Daughters, even though it’s against her parents’ wishes. But her enthusiasm cools soon after she sets foot in the region. Dashi, the obnoxious American student is obsessed with his anthropological research, and he accuses Yily for corrupting the minds of the indigenous people. Moreover, he thinks the Mosuo are incapable of falling in love. Yily is abhorred and she will show Dashi that he’s wrong…
Dashi doesn’t believe in romantic love and he’s about to prove it. Maybe his cynicism is a result of his last relationship with a married woman. It doesn’t matter. He’s annoyed at Yily’s presence simply because she believes what he doesn’t. Besides, their interests collide: she works to promo tourism while he loathes it. He will do what he can to discourage her so she’ll give up like others before her. But the girl is tougher than he thinks…
Who will win the battle, Yily or Dashi?
After smothering under the wishes of her parents, Yily decides to step out on her own on the Country of Daughters tour. Once in the country, Yily begins to gain a unique understanding of the tribe that she’s found herself among…even while dealing with an annoying tourist named Dashi.
Very complicated story built in layers that really helps us to appreciate this world that Bijou Li has created. The story takes some time to get to any real action, but in the buildup, we’re given a solid chance to really meet and understand all the characters in a unique and pressing way. The book definitely gives a unique worldview of Mosuo. I genuinely adore the way this author has introduced a new culture, painting the highlights and giving the readers an understanding of the place where this culture lives with vivid settings and beautiful worldbuilding.
A fascinating literary fiction for sure.