Where Waters Meet – a review

We always remember what we want to forget, and forget what we want to remember.

From Where Waters Meet


Phoenix and her ma, Rain, had always lived together. So when Phoenix married George, the three established a home in Toronto; it was Chinese tradition. Alzheimers forced the couple to move ma to a specialized care facility. Upon her death, Phoenix collected her belongings, in those were the secret locked box her ma had always treasured. What Phoenix found in its contents raised more questions than answers that only Auntie Mei, living in China, could answer, but she would only tell them face-to-face. Phoenix left for China to find the truth.

This story tells of a woman’s search to learn the secrets of a past life, its remnants contained in a small box. Spanning decades and continents we live the struggles, heartbreak, loves and survival of a long ago life.


Zhang Ling – award-winning author of nine novels and numerous collections of novellas and short stories. Born in China, she moved to Canada in 1986. In the mid-1990s, she began to write and publish fiction in Chinese while working as a clinical audiologist.


This is a beautiful story that at times breaks your heart and at other times puts you to sleep. The beginning is slow but worth sticking with for the backstory. Having a mother with Alzheimers I could feel the heartache and anxiety; perhaps that is why I enjoyed this story so much. It was hard to remember that it is a work of fiction because it was told with so much humanity. Zhang Ling’s book, A Single Swallow, is on my TBR list.