Review: How Much of These Hills is Gold

How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I barely read the synopsis a few months ago, which must have grabbed me because I shelved it to read then found it on sale a few days ago. Anyway. I’m so glad I did. I read it at breakneck speed, in one day. It’s fairly short, but it packs a lot of story into those pages.

I marveled at the range of emotions I could feel for one character. Complicated ones, like Ma and Ba, were difficult to love in some moments and entirely loveable in others. Sam’s character captivated me, and I felt a lot of myself as a child in Lucy at moments. Not saying there are many parallels between our lives, as she was a miner’s daughter in the California hills during the 1840s, and I am a chubby white lady at a computer in 2022. But I remember being an awkward, insecure, book-hungry child like Lucy. I remember feeling overlooked, getting bullied, being an alcoholic’s daughter. I didn’t expect to find so much of myself in this book, but it wrapped me up and kept me invested in the book through every last word. C Pam Zhang painted a vivid portrait of a period, place, and people that I, shamefully, knew otherwise little and less about.

I highly recommend How Much of These Hills Is Gold.

Date read: January 5, 2022

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