I was introduced to this novel and author in December of 2007 by Michael Zhu, a Chinese grade 12 reluctant reader of English novels at Henan Experimental High School in Zhengzhou, Henan. He had borrowed this 752 page novel from my personal collection and was returning it to me, but wanted to buy it from me as he was determined to read it again. Michael had rarely read any English novels and I was astounded that he would want to read such a thick novel a second time. He told me that he couldn't put it down once he had started. Not only had it totally captivated him, he also felt he had a clear understanding of life in the United States during that period of time.
I would not sell it to him because I was determined to find out what had "turned him on" to English novels. Like Michael, I was captivated by Pearse's writting and have since read five more of her novels. Michael went on to read another of her novels that year and his average in grade 10 went up by 15%.
My edition of "Never Look Back" is getting tattered as now in January of 2010 it is being read by the 6th grade 12 learner, Amos Guo.
Incidently Michael Zhu is presently in his second year at Iowa State University....Continua