“Harrowing . . . In lyrical, intimate prose, Lin reveals the harsh realities of working class life in 1980s Alaska and the failed promises of the American dream.”



Debut novel. This story is quite unique as it involves a family from Taiwan emigrating to Alaska.

This family consists of a Mother and Father, and the following children, Gavin, Ruby, Pie Pie and Natty. They are a relatively poor family, with the father using his plumbing skills to make a living.

Shorty after the move to Alaska, Gavin contacts meningitis while in school. He is hospitalized but survives.

When he returns home he learns that his sister Ruby has died of the same disease. Out story than concerns how this family deals with the grief of the lost child, especially the children, as some of them don’t fully understand what has happened here. As the problems of the family continue to wear them down, especially the father, we watch as the children continue to try to deal with a family that is quickly falling apart in a country not their known, and in a place that under the best of terms is hard to deal with.

A good first effort well worth reading.



Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 7th September 2019

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Richard Franco