Louise Lee Hsiu, an award-winning Taiwanese writer who had published ten books in Taiwan before moving to Canada in 2002. Because she wants more English-speaking people to understand her home country Taiwan, she has translated Penghu Moon in the Well from Chinese to English. In fact, it was this book's financial success that enabled her to immigrate to Canada.
The novel begins in Waian Penghu, Taiwan, the place of her parent's birth, and then shifts to the Taiwanese port, Kaohsiung, when her parents move there. In 1895, Ch'ing Dynasty was forced to sign the Treaty of Shimonoseki, ceding Taiwan and Penghu to Japan, and so this historic event forms the background of Penghu Moon in the Well.
The character, Lee Lian-Zi, who embodies the author herself, narrates the lives of four generations of two Penghu families. There are novels that present tragic epic histories and others that portray the loving bonds that sustain families, and this one is both.
Below are four comments about this book:
1. This novel is outstanding. It fully reflects the historical time, social movement of each stage of Taiwan from the end of the Ch'ing Dynasty (1895) to the 1980's. It presents the details of daily public life and the distress of the people in Penghu under the rule of a foreign nation---Japan. The local history of Penghu Islands is the epitome of the whole historical situation of Taiwan - Dr.Ye, renowned Taiwanese historian and novelist.
2. It is very easy to learn about the history of Taiwanese people in Chinese textbooks, but you won't learn Taiwan's authentic history, including that of Taiwan's Penghu Islands. Louise's family history originates in Penghu, so she can write authentically about the history of Taiwan and Penghu. Penghu Moon in the Well is not only a successful novel, but it also reveals actual historical events.
- Wang Jiaxiang, Editor, Taiwan Times
3. "Louise's novel affirms that we are all connected, for better or for worse, forever and ever. We travel in a never-ending circle because we want to return home, to the source, to the light at the end of the tunnel."
- Barbara Ladouceur, Canadian Writer
4. "I learned a great deal about Taiwan and Penghu, the people, culture and history. The characterizations and descriptions bring us right into the place. I can see why this book has sold very well there. It has made me very curious to visit Penghu and Taiwan."
- Jo Blackmore, Publisher, Vancouver Granville Island Publishing