By Mel Glenn
Published by Harper Collins
Copyright © 2000
Laura Li is a conundrum. Everyone thinks they know her but nobody does. She really doesn’t even know herself. Laura is the child of Chinese immigrants who came to America for greater freedom and prosperity. Her father used that prosperity to become a slave to his job, and her mother only really left China physically her heart is still tied to her homeland. Laura’s father has little time for her, and her mother smothers her with her outmoded Chinese expectations. What she wants more than anything is love, affection, and acceptance from her parents. Laura bottles up her problems and puts on a calm and slightly aloof exterior, but the smooth surface waters only belie the turbulent seas beneath.
Mel Glenn has written a dramatic multicultural story of love, expectation, misjudgment, and self-destruction. By way of poetry and perspective Glenn shows us the difference between what people see and think and what really is. This story is thought provoking on various levels, and you come away with the distinct reminder that you really don’t know people as well as you think you do based merely on brief and passing interactions.
Judged merely as a story “Split Image” is original and special in the way that the story is told from so many different directions and in so many different tongues. I think this is an important book for young adults and their parents to read as conduit to meaningful discussion.