Monday, March 24, 2014
BITTER WINDS (BOOK THREE IN THE SCAVENGER'S DAUGHTERS SERIES) KAY BRATT
Brilliance Audio|April 8, 2014|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1477848999
The third book of the 'Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters' series, BITTER WINDS continues the saga of Chinese couple Benfu and Calli, and the abandoned young women in their care. Since the night her sister was almost burned alive in a fire and they were taken from their mother, Ivy has been the self-appointed guardian and guide to her blind twin, Lily. When Lily is snatched away and put behind locked doors, Ivy will do whatever it takes to get her sister home, even if it means putting her own life in danger. After Benfu and Calli's long-lost daughter, Li Jin, is finally reunited with her birth parents, she opens a shelter for displaced people, turning her fortune from destitution and abuse to family and fulfillment. But her friend, Sami remains consumed by bitterness and Li Jin soon realizes she needs to make a difficult choice between revisiting the past or nurturing her own future.
BITTER WINDS is book three in Kay's "Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters" series.
Lily is sixteen-years-old and blind and wants to exert her independence. Ivy is her twin and has been Lily's eyes since they were born, and there was no one she trusted more in her life. She knows that Ivy will always protect her and look out for her. Being blind is a big deal to other people but not to Lily and she is very happy that she can't see the pity in their faces. She didn't even like carrying her white cane because she felt it was like a huge advertisement telling people to look at her becasue she was blind.
Today, Ivy is escorting, Lily to the park so she could put on a concert playing her prized violin. She worried about her Mom and Dad getting older and not always being around to take care of them. She really wanted to make her own money and learn to be independent so Ivy too could go and make her own life. If no one gave her money for playing her violin today, the she'd go home, practice some more and return another day to try again.
Arriving at the park, Ivy deposited Lily on an empty bench to play her concert and she strolled off to look around the park. She didn't want to make Lily nervous by standing there, staring at her while she played.
Lily was playing her concert when she was suddenly arrested by the police! A terrifying ordeal for a blind girl. They threw her into a temporary locked cage while they rounded up more offenders and then transferred them to a paddy wagon and off to jail. When Ivy finally returned to pick up Lily and found her gone she began to panic. Someone in the crowd finally told her the police had taken her away as they thought she was a beggar, but that was not the only reason they had arrested her. Ivy took off running, heading home to break the news to her father, Benfu and the rest of the family.
Meanwhile, Lily wasn't the only family member waiting to exert her independence these days. Li Jin, was, Benfu and Calli's only birth child who had been abducted when she was just a toddler was finally back in their lives with a son of her own. Li Jin was also wanting to exert her independence too and had opened up 'Rose Haven' - a shelter for homeless or displaced people. She charged them nothing to stay at her shelter and relied on donations and what she could afford to purchase. Li Jin did all the home-made cooking herself and any one of any age was welcome at Rose Haven from babies to seniors, However, Li Jin had one ball and chain around her ankle in the form of, Sami.
Sami, had come with Li Jin, home to her family but she was a desperately and deeply angry young woman who "...still burns for revenge against the man who corrupted her."
How is, Benfu going to get Lily released from jail when the fine is set out of his reach and the police firmly believe she is involved in more than begging? And how is, Li Jin going to decide whether to help, Sami and leave Rose Haven and her life-long dream behind or let Sami go her own way?
BITTER WINDS is an absolute page-turner! I was so invested in the story I felt as though I was in the book with the characters. I could see the park, the jail and the conditions there. And, I could see, hear and smell all that went on at Rose Haven.
Kay Bratt is one of the most expansive and joyful writers around these days. BITTER WINDS gracefully unravels how tradition, culture, and sense of place affect the human heart. Kay Bratt celebrates the joys and boundaries of storytelling and I look forward with excited anticipation to her next novel. She has never disappointed me yet. Another book well done, Kay!
I would like to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book in trade for an honest review. All opinions are mine and mine only.