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Publisher's Summary

The day nine-year-old San San and her twelve-year-old brother, Ah Liam, discover their grandmother taking a hammer to a framed portrait of Chairman Mao is the day that forever changes their lives. To prove his loyalty to the Party, Ah Liam reports his grandmother to the authorities. But his belief in doing the right thing sets in motion a terrible chain of events.

Now they must flee their home on Drum Wave Islet, which sits just a few hundred meters across the channel from mainland China. But when their mother goes to procure visas for safe passage to Hong Kong, the government will only issue them on the condition that she leave behind one of her children as proof of the family’s intention to return.

Against the backdrop of early Maoist China, this captivating and emotional tale follows a brother, a sister, a father, and a mother as they grapple with their agonizing decision, its far-reaching consequences, and their hope for redemption.

©2018 Kirstin Chen (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Didn't want this one to end!

Loved the characters so much that I wanted to know what else would happen in their lives. Fantastic novel for those interested in Chinese history too. Even if you're not, I feel certain you'll be engrossed till the end.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Claire
  • Phoenix, Arizona, United States
  • 06-20-18

Very disappointing

The characters were unremarkable, story not well developed, and the narrator somewhat monotone. I was looking forward to listening to this book after Audible’s recommendation, I’m not sure I’ll try another of their favorites.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Rushed ending

I enjoyed the story. The author wove several story lines simultaneously, but the ending was far too rushed—the story lines ended in a tangled knot. It was enjoyable, but technically disappointing.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Half & Half

First of all, I wasn’t crazy about the narrator. Her voice was just too slow and withdrawn for me. Secondly it was an interesting book, but not very believable for. I would say more but I don’t want to give away the storyline. With that said it was worth the listen and it kept my attention but, spoiler alert the ending kind of sucks.