BOOK REVIEW: C PAM ZHANG – HOW MUCH OF THESE HILLS IS GOLD.

Today, I am back with another book review of a book on the Booker long-list and this time it’s How Much Of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang.

I am back with another book review of the Booker Prize this year! And… I’ve read all of the long-listed books! Some new favourites, some okay reads, some dud reads but no book that didn’t really ruin the experience for me and if it makes sense, I think they all make a good long-list. Anyway, back to the review! I am very excited to share my review for How Much Of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang. But first, what is it about? Here is the synopsis:

America. In the twilight of the Gold Rush, two siblings cross a landscape with a gun in their hands and the body of their father on their backs . . .

Ba dies in the night, Ma is already gone. Lucy and Sam, twelve and eleven, are suddenly alone and on the run. With their father’s body on their backs, they roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with giant buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial.

America. In the twilight of the Gold Rush, two siblings cross a landscape with a gun in their hands and the body of their father on their backs . . .

Ba dies in the night, Ma is already gone. Lucy and Sam, twelve and eleven, are suddenly alone and on the run. With their father’s body on their backs, they roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with giant buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial.

How Much of These Hills is Gold is a sweeping adventure tale, an unforgettable sibling story and a remarkable novel about a family bound and divided by its memories.

If I’m being honest, I thought I wouldn’t like this book as a Western doesn’t scream to me as something I would enjoy but… how wrong I was! This is a book that I saw a lot about before the long-list announcement and I saw everyone loved it and hoped it would be on the long-list and it is! I really enjoyed this book and surprised me in more ways than one.

I think the writing of this book is so brilliant. It is lyrical, emotional, layered, funny, truthful and so much more. For me, it was incredibly evocative and absorbing, I was fully immersed into the story. I also found there to be a lot of creativity in the storytelling too. She took the trope of a Western and made it her own. This was something that I really enjoyed and admired because I felt there were some books on the long-list that I just wish they were a bit creative with the story a bit more like this one (aka The Shadow King).

The writing is something special and the characters just shine from the very first page. It reminded me a lot of The Lost Children Archive in terms of the relationship dynamic between siblings. I loved how Zhang explored a lot of themes in a brilliant way, from: family, relationships, death, grief, gender, your past and the question that runs throughout the book: what makes a home a home? I love this question and it’s something that is throughout the novel and sums up the story brilliantly for me.

Overall, I loved this novel. It surprised me and moved me. I was fully immersed into the novel and its characters and loved the creativity she took with the storytelling and I can’t wait to read more from her in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on the shortlist…

Have you read How Much Of These Hills Is Gold? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you,

Corey.

2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: C PAM ZHANG – HOW MUCH OF THESE HILLS IS GOLD.

  1. Great review! I recently finished this one as well and had such a good time reading it. I loved the writing! Also, congrats on finishing the Booker longlist!

    Liked by 1 person

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