Surviving in Hill China
The title of this book is” Surviving in Hill China”, and it’s a pretty good description of what happens to people who choose to make their home in the hills of China, especially after experiencing some form of disaster. The book describes life in the Chinese countryside, and the hardships that come with moving to a new environment – moving from the big city to the countryside. The main character is Lin Zhi, who are from a family of six children, and one of the oldest people in the town. He has survived in Hill China before, but when disaster strikes again, this time it’s much worse than he ever imagined.
This book has a lot of illustrations throughout, mostly depicting the scenes that occur when Lin Zhi is forced to leave his home for the safety of his family. Examples are watermills, public toilets, chicken farms, fruit trees, and other familiar landmarks. These illustrations bring home the point that the characters in the book are dealing with real-life situations, and are not merely abstract thoughts. The illustrations also reinforce the point that although the characters’ bodies are weakly and inadequately developed, they still manage to get by.
The main theme of this book is the relationship between man and nature, especially between Lin Zhi and the chief minister of Hunan province. Although he has survived in Hill China before, when catastrophe struck, this time the difference is as great as the oceans. He is forced to make a life-or-death choice, and if Lin Zhi does not go back, the people of his district will be exterminated by the forces of the Hunan state government. In doing so, Lin Zhi realizes that he must leave his home and find help from a Chinese doctor who is capable of saving the lives of his family. This book is highly recommended.