Re: Overall Impression of the book
Certainly the eastern school of thought theme was threaded through the book ... the lines that link to the title of the book give us this connection ..'Light is the left hand of darkness and darkness is the right hand of light. Two are one, life and death, lying together like lovers in kemmer, like hands joined together, like the end and the way." To me this is a book about the Other, the external Other or the Other inside ourselves. Is she writing about xenophobia and/or homophobia or perhaps fear of the "alien" inside us, the Other that we don't understand?
Overall, I see it as a 'think book', but lacking in character development and plot. On the brighter side, although I struggled to finish the first half of the book, I found the second half to move along with some plot, some suspense and I found myself actually caring about what happened to Mr Ai and Estraven.