Invisible Orphans by Jade Moon Le had me in tears over the harrowing story of Vivi. A young kindergarten teacher from Hong Kong, Vivi is vibrant, intelligent, and reserved. The story tells the beautiful tale of Vivi’s life, including moving to the United States, marrying her dream man, and ending up heartbroken in grief.
This novel begins in a memory; recalling her visit to the Hainan Islands in southern China, Vivi was traveling with her ex-boyfriend, a man she still considered to be her friend. On this trip, Vivi meets what would soon be her future husband, Matthew. The two instantly felt a connection. From the United States, Matthew was the opposite of Vivi in many ways. Coming from a different upbringing, culture, and general way of life, you would think the two would not understand each other as seamlessly as they did. However, Vivi and Matthew just clicked. Just a week after they meet, the two fall in love and go on to do incredible things in their relationship. Between traveling the world, Sunday morning pancake breakfasts, film premieres, hiking, and various other rituals, the two share hobbies, activities, passions, and dreams.
I absolutely loved reading how Vivi and Matthew fell in love with one another. Le did not give the stereotypical romance story; rather, she made a unique and personalized tale just for them, one that stood out to me in quality and content. She did not shy away from adding details of their fights, disagreements, and even possible separation, adding to the authenticity. These details really supplemented the overall tale and greatly helped the reader see both sides of each character.
As the story moves on, a horrible tragedy occurs, leaving Vivi heartbroken, devastated, and unfortunately very alone. The story of her agony is one that will have you weeping on her behalf. The reader gets to follow this stage of Vivi’s life through its entirety, seeing how one copes with loss of love and all that one once knew.
Le does an exceptional job capturing all the stages of grief, from initial denial, arguing, depression, and on to eventual acceptance. The way that she is able to capture heartbreak so perfectly had me applauding her. But what stands out to me most about this part of the novel are the letters that Vivi reads. These letters come from various sources: Matthew, diaries, friends, and more. Between riveting tales from childhood, simple exchanges between lovers, and life-changing confessions, you do not want to miss out on these soulful exchanges.
Overall, Invisible Orphan was an exceptional read. I would recommend it to all readers who enjoy modern fiction and those who may be experiencing the loss of a loved one.
|Jade Moon Le
|Rare Bird Books
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