If I look back about what tempted me to pick this title up was the randomness of the topic. The content stayed true to the title, this book is all about the documented rise and alteration of Chiles’ use in China through centuries. It is not often that one finds access to a book on such an obscure topic, so I gave in and jumped in enthusiastically. After a false start or two, I finally worked my way through till the end.
The author talks of the different ways the Chiles are now blended into the Chinese lifestyle. The various things that they now symbolize were quite fascinating. The background of the narrative, which showed how the trade worked and people lived in the pre-1800 times, was also interesting. However, the flow was very much like a textbook, not conducive to continuous reading, which meant I took an inordinately long time to finish it all. I almost gave up a couple of times, but curiosity drove me on because I wanted to know more about how something so innocuous could hold so many different values in a civilization. Some of the things mentioned were known, while others unknown to me. I am not sure who the intended audience for this book was, but I am sure some people will find it easier to read than others.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.