Finished June 8
The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff
This graphic novel follows a young Chinese man as he follows his parents instructions to find a bride for his dead brother so that his brother will have a companion as he travels into the next world. Following a Chinese tradition traced back to the year 208 A.D., the Chinese, when faced with the death of a unmarried man, look for a woman's body to bury with his as a companion. Deshi's brother has died in an altercation with him, and now he is faced with a task that seems impossible. Looking in graveyards, hospital morgues and funeral homes for the answer to his parents' wishes, Deshi finds himself faced with a feisty young woman with her own dreams for the future, in the world of the living. Lily is the daughter of a peasant, with parents that are expecting her to marry their landlord to ensure they don't lose their home. This is not the life she has dreamed of and when she meets Deshi, she takes off with him in search of a better life, but is death what awaits her?
A tale of two young people, facing traditional expectations from their parents, and looking for their own answers.
Engaging and with great drawings, this novel will keep you turning the pages.