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The Fox Wife - Review


I received an audio copy via Macmillian Audio. All reviews are my own.


I'm back with another quick review while I journey to the next book. I got to check out The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo via audio. I've been seeing this book floating around my IG TL for a while, and since it's AAPI month, I thought it would be the perfect time to check it out.


"Manchuria, 1908.
A young woman is found frozen in the snow. Her death is clouded by rumors of foxes involved, which are believed to lure people by transforming themselves into beautiful women and men. Bao, a detective with a reputation for sniffing out the truth, is hired to uncover the dead woman’s identity. Since childhood, Bao has been intrigued by the fox gods, yet they’ve remained tantalizingly out of reach. Until, perhaps, now.
Meanwhile, a family that owns a famous Chinese medicine shop can cure ailments, but not the curse that afflicts them―their eldest sons die before their twenty-fourth birthdays. Now the only grandson of the family is twenty-three. When a mysterious woman enters their household, their luck seems to change. Or does it? Is their new servant a simple young woman from the north or a fox spirit bent on her own revenge?"

              

One intriguing aspect of The Fox Wife is that it's narrated by the author herself, Yangsze Choo. This 14-hour and 37-minute narration is a dual story, with a Fox Wife seeking peace and revenge after losing her child and a detective unraveling a murder mystery that leads him back to his past. 

              

I'm going to be honest: I'm more than likely going to reread this book. It's one of those stories you must experience with your eyes, not your ears. I didn't particularly care for Choo's narration, but I was very interested in the story she had to tell. I loved the mystery aspect of the tale. The character, Detective Bao, not only has to figure out why young women are disappearing from brothels and homes, but he's also trying to discover his unique abilities and how they shaped his life. It's a bonus that Bao can detect a lie, but does he have the Fox Spirits to thank for that? 

              

One of the features of the story that fascinated me was the cultural significance of Foxes in Asian culture. They can bring good fortune, fertility, or a string of bad luck. The young Fox Wife is on a quest to find the person who tore her family apart while also dealing with other mischievous foxes causing trouble in the human world. I never realized how much foxes were blamed for so much misfortune that surrounded situations with good-looking people and confident women. From this story, the foxes reminded me of a curious cat that always ended up at the wrong place and time. 

              

Overall, I don't have a serious rating for this book yet. I'll give it 3-stars to have something for now. I enjoyed the book but need to read it on paper. The prose was so beautiful that I'm afraid I missed most of it while listening to the story. I need to be able to digest it at my own pace. I have nothing against Choo, but from reading her creation, I see that she made the book come off as a young adult genre, even though it was made for the bill-paying people in the house. I'm pretty sure once I return to this title, I will have a different opinion and more details on what to expect from this book.


The Fox Wife is available now


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