I’m starting a new series, you guys! It’s going to combine two of my favoritest things: books and travel. Basically, I’m going to read books set in far-flung places, so that I can tell you all about them. And then I’m going to resist the urge to promptly pull out my credit card and spend about a billion dollars on an airplane ticket.
This will probably end horribly.
For my credit card.
Where you will want to fly to as soon as you can get your credit card out of your freaking wallet:
Hawaii. And maybe China. But mostly Hawaii.
What it’s all about:
The blurb on the inside of the dust jacket of the book describes Cecily Wong’s first novel as a “sweeping debut.” And sweep it does — from the early 1900’s in China to the mid-1960’s in Hawaii.
The book tells the story of the fabulously rich Leong Family, who move from Guangdong to Oahu at the turn of the century to avoid the fallout over some shady business dealings. Shortly thereafter they end up losing the whole farm when the head of the family dies under mysterious circumstances.The family attempts to make it as normals, but things don’t work out so well for them. Probably because they’re cursed. For reals.
The story is told from the perspective of three different women from three different generations of the Leong family — the graceful matriarch, the sullen and self-entitled daughter-in-law, and the family’s only grandchild, a pregnant eighteen-year-old.
Why I liked it:
First, I’m a huge history nerd, but I have absolutely no patience for non-fiction books. So I love when I can learn historical stuff while reading a fiction book. This book was packed full of historical events — from the Boxer Rebellion in China to Pearl Harbor.
Secondly, the descriptions of all the settings, especially Oahu, were so incredibly vivid that I almost felt transported to the island itself.
I mean, I think I would feel a lot more transported if I were to actually transport myself there. Like by plane. Using a plane ticket. THAT I REALLY WANT TO BUY WITH MY CREDIT CARD RIGHT NOW.
Also, you know how some books have a character that you CANNOT EVEN STAND? And you get so frustrated reading about her because you just want to shout at her or at least slap her upside the head a few times? And you’re tempted to stop reading the book because she’s making you so angry and WHY WON’T SHE JUST LISTEN TO YOU ALREADY??? But you can’t stop reading because the book is so good and has you totally sucked in even though, GAH, THIS ONE CHARACTER IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST!
That’s how the daughter-in-law character was for me.
I totally hated her.
But I couldn’t stop reading about her.
And when you’re actually yelling out loud at a book that you can’t even put down, I think that’s a sign of a really good book, don’t you?
What book has recently made you feel like buying a plane ticket?
P.S. Disclaimer time! I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. Although I assure you its free-ness did not sway my opinion in any way. It was a really good book, even though, GAH, THAT ONE CHARACTER!