Since I finished Ready or Not (cue cheering) and haven’t really gotten into the work on Great Myth Conception (all scolding welcome and deserved), I’ve been back to reading and it’s been lovely.
One book I was finally able to get to was Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok.
One of the blurbs on the cover compared it to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Scoff if you like. I did too until I read it. The comparison is apt. The brilliance of Tree is not the plot line about a girl growing up poor in Brooklyn with a drunk for a father but in Betty Smith’s voice and the characters of Francie Nolan and her family. Girl‘s magic is similar. Kwok’s description of the lives of Kimberly Chang and her mother, and their experiences after immigrating from Hong Kong into a life of dire poverty in New York rings true.
Kwok’s story transcends the usual divisions of adult and teen literature. My daughter and I both enjoyed this and my eighty-year-old mother is now reading it. Although a quick read, this book will stay with you for a long time.
Check it out at your library or bookstore and let me know what you think.