Book Reviews

Review: Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung

Ghost Forest is a story about family and loss. Told in almost vignette like snapshots, Fung explores grief and relationships. I almost read this in a day not only because of the shortness of the book, but also in how emotionally compelling it was. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


How do you grieve, if your family doesn’t talk about feelings?

This is the question the unnamed protagonist of Ghost Forest considers after her father dies. One of the many Hong Kong “astronaut” fathers, he stays there to work, while the rest of the family immigrated to Canada before the 1997 Handover, when the British returned sovereignty over Hong Kong to China.

As she revisits memories of her father through the years, she struggles with unresolved questions and misunderstandings. Turning to her mother and grandmother for answers, she discovers her own life refracted brightly in theirs.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Ghost Forest is told in reflections and fleeting moments. In Polaroid pictures and whispers. It’s a story about immigration and marking time in plane trips. Thoughtful and tender, Ghost Forest remembers empty dinner tables and words we speak without thinking. It feels almost like a memoir and showcases a series of moments. If you love books about the gears of families that seem to crash against each other and move seamlessly.

Ghost Forest is quiet and thoughtful. How we process grief and love in relation to not only ourselves, but also our family. The undignified states of death and cruelties within love. The ways it changes both our relationships to those we lost, and those we surround ourselves with as well. It feels introspective and emotional all at once.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Find Ghost Forest on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What other books have you read that feel almost like a memoir?

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