On Such a Full Sea
I tried to have patience with this dystopian vision of a future America, about a girl, Fan, who leaves the walled community where she lives and works to find the boy she loves, who has disappeared. But one-third into the book, I still didn't have a clear picture of the causes of the global decline (seems to be vaguely climate- and environment-related) or of the motivations of most of the characters--and I stopped caring enough to continue on the journey with the weirdly omniscient narrator who also seems to be a neighbor of Fan's. I didn't finish this one.
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From the publisher’s description:
Against a vividly imagined future America, Lee tells a stunning, surprising, and riveting story that will change the way readers think about the world they live in.
On Such a Full Sea takes Chang-rae Lee’s elegance of prose, his masterly storytelling, and his long-standing interests in identity, culture, work, and love, and lifts them to a new plane. Stepping from the realistic and historical territories of his previous work, Lee brings us into a world created from scratch. Against a vividly imagined future America, Lee tells a stunning, surprising, and riveting story that will change the way readers think about the world they live in.
In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. And the members of the labor class – descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China – find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement.
In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan’s journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.