Nominated by:

Vancouver Public Library, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

HarperCollins, Canada

Three Souls

Janie Chang      

2015 Longlist

Leiyin has to make a choice: Should she save her only child or forever relinquish her own afterlife?

Civil war China is fractured by social and political change. Behind the magnificent gates of the Song family estate, however, none of this upheaval has touched Leiyin, a spoiled and idealistic teenager. But when Leiyin meets the captivating left-wing poet Hanchin, she defies her father and learns a harsh reality: that her father has the power to dictate her fate. Leiyin’s punishment for disobedience leads to exile from her family, an unwanted marriage and a lover’s betrayal—followedby her untimely death. Now a ghost, Leiyin must make amends to earn entry to the afterlife. But when her young daughter faces a dangerous future, Leiyin has to make a heart-wrenching choice.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Born in Taiwan, Janie Chang spent parts of her childhood in the Philippines, Iran and Thailand before ultimately settling in Canada. She has a degree in computer science from Simon Fraser University. Recently, she attended The Writer’s Studio at SFU. Three Souls is her first novel.

Librarian’s Comments

Nominated for the 2014 Ethel Wilson Prize, this haunting and captivating tale weaves the story of its characters together with the political and social upheaval of civil war era China. After her death, Leiyin tells the story of her life as she tries to discover and make amends for a sin she has committed. Rich with thought-provoking themes of human frailty and the possibility of redemption, the story explores Chinese spiritual belief, devotion to family and the complex political forces of the time. Readers describe Three Souls as hauntingly beautiful, full of history, original and enjoyable.

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