Girl In Translation by Jean Kwok -304 pages
When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family’s future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition. Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.
My Review: 4 stars
Wonderful insight into the life of a young girl from China who is uprooted and brought to the US. The book is semi-autobiographical as the author moved to the US from China at a young age as well. The book reads quickly and the story brings so many difficult and trying aspects to the reader’s attention that I know I had never considered before. The melding of one culture into another is so much more than what happens at school or the workforce. Beyond a great story, I learned quite a lot from this book. The rushed “wrap up” in the epilogue was what kept this from getting a 5 star review.
Quotes I liked:
- “You can be more in love with someone in your mind than with the person you see everyday.”
- “It may not seem like much--a few kisses in the dark--but it was enough to burn a hole like an ulcer in my heart.”
-“What a relationship looks like on the outside isn't the same as what it's like on the inside. You can be more in love with someone in your mind than with the person you see every day.”
Tags: 2013, Fiction, China, Historical Fiction, Asian
Labels: 2013, Asian, China, Fiction, Historical Fiction