The continuing story of sworn blood brothers Birch Bai (Chinese pilot), and Danny Hardy (American pilot), shot down numerous Japanese airplanes in the fight against Japan as members of the acclaimed Flying Tigers. Their story begins as both their planes crash in Yunnan province of China and are captured, tortured, and imprisoned by Japanese soldiers for information about the atomic bomb. Days before the end of World War II, Danny makes a sacrifice to save Birch’s life.
After the war, there is still a continuing civil war between the Communists and Nationalists governments in China, now, not having a common Japanese enemy.
This sequel to Wings of a Flying Tiger takes us on an epic journey from Chunking to Yunnan and from Taiwan to San Francisco.
Iris Yang is able to capture the pain and struggle in surviving the atrocities physically, mentally, and emotionally. The strength and will to go on, the guilt that comes with the inability to fulfill one’s promise, the ability to forgive oneself for surviving. Finding love despite having experienced tremendous loss and heartbreak. She is able to convey what it means to have true friendship, loyalty, and sacrifice.
I enjoyed the complexity and detail with which Iris Yang writes but have one minor critique in that I would have preferred her to use the authentic Chinese ways to address parents as Mama/Papa, etc.. instead of using the American ways of addressing parents as Mom and Dad, because we are reading it from a Chinese point of view. As a person of Chinese descent, I notice this very minute detail.