The Third Son by Julie Wu

silhouette of a young boy in a field. Two warplanes are seen in the distance. Saburo is the third and least favorite son of a Taiwanese politician growing up during Japanese occupation in the early 1900s. During an air raid, Saburo meets a young girl, also trying to survive the attack. Soon after his family flees to the countryside in an attempt to escape corruption and riots in the city. Saburo spends the next decade trying to find the girl from his youth. But when he finally does, she is out of his reach.

The Third Son is a fast and engrossing piece of historical fiction. You will find yourself rooting for the protagonist at every turn. Even though it is an emotional read, there are some well placed humorous moments that keep the story from ever being overly dramatic. Far from being your run-of-the-mill coming of age story, there are important themes of war, culture, loyalty, love and family that make this such an interesting read. Highly recommended.

Find The Third Son at the library.