Friday, September 10, 2010

Alicia Hou's The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters

Alicia Hou's The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters details the story of four sisters: Gigi, Lily, Mei-Ling and Mimi. The story teaches important lessons of karma under a riveting plot of a mother who abandons two of her daughters in an attempt to fulfil her ancestral destiny and give birth to a son under the Chinese one-child policy. The secret she buried for twenty years comes to light and the sisters learn to treat all women like sisters (never steal your sister's husband), to never do anything immoral, to never be too greedy (you will lose it all later), to never intentionally hurt someone (you will end up hurting yourself even more), to give thanks to the one who tricked you (because you have learned to be smarter), to give thanks to the one who rejected you (because you have learned to do things better), and, most importantly, to believe in karma, what you gave is what you'll get in return. Hou interweaves the stories of many characters while keeping the plot understandable and organized; although The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters tells the stories of many characters, the characters are each unique and well-developed. Hou's story of four sisters is a great read for anyone who enjoyed The Joy Luck Club or appreciates the lessons of karma and sisterhood.