Today we finish The Scavenger’s Daughters (Tales of the Scavenger’s Daughters) by Kay Bratt.
Ah, the feeling of completing a book and having answers—at least somewhat—to questions raised. We now know that Jet is actually a good guy. I have to say, when Linnea wonders in chapter 20 what Jet sees in her, I wrote in my notes “So do we, Linnea.” Not that we wonder what he sees in her, but if it really can work out.
However, Benfu flat out asked in chapter 21 if Jet saw Linnea as a plaything to be discarded. I believed him that he doesn’t. However, they are from such different worlds. I’m still left wondering if it can really work.
At the beginning of our reading, Benfu and Linnea frantically looked for Jasmine until Benfu fainted and was rushed to the hospital by Jet. In terms of me buying into the way Jet was reintroduced, I bought it. In a moment of crisis, if a cell phone is thrust into my hands, any more I have few numbers memorized. So, it is likely that I would dial whomever I could recall and let the chips fall where they may.
Later, as Jet and Linnea went to the park in search of Jasmine, this quote stood out to me:
“Linnea sigh. She’s always found that people from the other side of town who had no experiences with abandonment or poverty also had no sense of reality for what desperate people could and would do. It wasn’t his [Jet’s] fault; it was just the bubble that the rich lived in.”
I think it stood out because as much as I try to understand and empathize with those who have abandonment and poverty as their story, the truth is I am more like Jet. I probably don’t really get it and say things that sound foolish to those who are natives to poverty and abandonment.
Benfu ends up hospitalized much longer than the first time and Jet comes over in the evenings to help Linnea care for the girls. During this time Linnea is invited to his home for dinner.
Understandably she is nervous and reluctant.
Once I found out that Jet’s family’s apartment is the only one on that floor of the building, I have to admit I became more skeptical of the gap between them. He is not just rich. He is stinking rich. Rich, rich, rich. I might feel out of my league entering such a luxurious apartment, let alone the scavenger’s daughter.
I did have to laugh at this part:
“So what was your favorite dish, Linnea?” [Jet] asked.
“Though she was happy for a diversion, Linnea could have strangled him for asking that—as she didn’t know which one would be the most proper to compliment. Everything in China was based on tradition, but unfortunately she was severely lacking in remembering most of the lessons her Nai Nai and Ye Ye had tried to teach her about the many symbolisms of each dish.”
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Where we know a right answer exists, but we just don’t know what it is. Ah, and time stops!
We learn that Jet’s dad had heard of her Ye Ye and admires him quite a lot (the sarcastic side of me wanted to know “Why then have you never visited him?!”). And it disturbed me to be reminded of the gap between the haves and the have nots when it comes to the right to an education or medical care.
And then Benfu is ready to be discharged. Times of crisis can bring reflection. He asked what we all wonder:
“Calli, I need to ask you something.”
“What Benfu? You’re scaring me.”
“You would tell me, would you, if I haven’t been enough?” He searched her eyes.
“Enough what?” She shook her head in confusion.
Thankfully she reassured him, as will your Heavenly Father comfort and reassure you. You are and have been enough in your calling.
While the party at the Zheng house might have been a bit of a tidy ending for the book, what I loved is that the family didn’t wait to gather at Benfu’s funeral. Instead, they let him know how very much he meant to them.
Benfu had one final insight: “He realized that his pride and aversion to dealing with the government had made life much harder, and he wished he’d come to Gong earlier to ask his help.” This is a good final word for us. Is your pride making your life harder?
Thank you Hadassah for recommending this book to us!
Let’s talk in the comments. Am I off my rocker when it comes to Jet and Lin? What other quotes or thoughts stood out to you?
See you in the comments,
P.S. Next week Kimberlee Conway Ireton will be here sharing about Ordinary Time in the Church calendar. Our August book is A Man Called Ove, you do not want to miss it!