‘Revolution Is Not A Dinner Party’ by Ying Chang Compestine was difficult for me to pick up at first because I don’t usually read novels based on facts. It turned out to be a pleasant change from what I usually read, which is fantasy with magical things and flying unicorns. Ling’s family dreamed of going to San Francisco, but those dreams get pushed further aside when Chairman Mao decides to “recreate” China.
Both of Ling’s parents are doctors at a hospital in Wuhan. Everything is peaceful until Ling and her family have to share their house with Comrade Lee, a communist under Chairman Mao. Neighbors start disappearing around them and Ling loses her friend because of her bourgeois background. Her friend tells her that she's afraid of looking like a bourgeois sympathizer.
Compestine’s writing in the book made me laugh out loud, for instance, she wrote, “I secured the first elastic band around my father’s slippery ponytail. Would my singing neighbor feel as happy as I was when she could finally reach the high note? I wished she would get there soon—or sing a different song.” I would give this book 4 ½ daggers out of 5 only because it left me wondering whether Ling and her family ever ended up in San Francisco.