A review by thevietvegan
The Downstairs Girl, by Stacey Lee

adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


Dangit, I wrote a whole review and then pressed back by accident and lost it. Ok, here are the things I loved about the book:

  • Writing style was so descriptive in ways that are so unlike most literature I typically read. The use of proverbs (no idea if they are traditionally Chinese proverbs or simply Stacey Lee being incredibly wise) were lovely and poetic, and at times, quite funny 
  • The characters are so fully fleshed out and real. Protagonists, villains, even the horses have such distinct personalities that you can imagine what they are doing even after the narrative ends.
  • The historical references are really interesting and explore the racism and impact of being Asian in the 1800s: the slurs, the shared oppression with Black people, and the extra intersection of also being a woman during a time where women were fighting for the vote (and excluding women of colour too)
  • I loved the narrative and the defiance of the main character. I empathized with her iron will but kind heart.
  • I appreciated that all loose ends were tied and the ending seemed improbable but what my heart had hoped for in the end anyway.

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