I post book reviews as often as possible but at least once a week every Wednesday! I hope they help you to find some new books that you'll love as much as I did!
Today is my stop on the blogtour for The Emperor of Shoes by Spencer Wise. Thanks so much to Anne for organising the tour.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the stops.
Alex Cohen, a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in southern China, where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory. Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, but as he explores the plant's vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realization: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex's own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line. When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift. She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow labourers. Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite?
Wow, what a beautifully written debut The Emperor of Shoes is.
It transported me straight into a completely different world through the rich and vivid descriptions and I could hear the dialogue perfectly in my head.
I felt that there was a real authenticity to the book which was aided by the realistic and well-developed characters, particularly Alex. I really enjoyed being part of Alex's journey and seeing the way he and his relationships progress and change during the course of the book.
I liked how Wise explores the different cultures and also the issues surrounding the treatment and exploitation of workers, yet he also brings in humour, making it multi-layered and all the more absorbing.
Overall, I'm giving The Emperor of Shoes 4 out of 5. It's beautifully written and engrossing, a debut not to be missed.
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
Born in Boston, Spencer Wise is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Texas at Austin and worked in the editorial departments at Sports Illustrated and Time Out New York. His work has appeared in Narrative magazine, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Florida Review, and New Ohio Review. He is the winner of the 2017 Gulf Coast Prize in nonfiction. Wise teaches at Florida State University and lives in Tallahassee.
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