Inhabiting four lives - a railroad baron's valet who unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor, Hollywood's first Chinese movie star, a hate-crime victim whose death mobilizes Asian Americans, and a biracial writer visiting China for an adoption - this novel captures and capsizes over a century of our history, showing that even as family bonds are denied and broken, a community can survive - as much through love as blood.
"The threads throughout the stories."
Inspired by three figures who lived at pivotal moments in Chinese American history, and drawing on his own mixed-race experience, Peter Ho Davies plunges us into what it is like to feel and be treated like a foreigner in the country you call home. Ranging from the mouth of the Pearl River to the land of golden opportunity, this remarkable audiobook spans 150 years to tell a tale of familial bonds denied, of tenacity and pride, of prejudice and the universal need to belong.
In 1944, a German Jewish refugee is sent to Wales to interview Rudolf Hess; in Snowdonia, a 17-year-old girl, the daughter of a fiercely nationalistic shepherd, dreams of the bright lights of an English city; and in a nearby POW camp, a German soldier struggles to reconcile his surrender with his sense of honour. As their lives intersect, all three will come to question where they belong and where their loyalties lie.