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The life of a young Chinese girl is torn apart by dark family secrets and divided loyalties in a small Ontario town in the 1950s
Judy Fong Bates? fresh and engaging first novel is the story of Su-Jen Chou, a Chinese girl growing up the only daughter of an unhappy and isolated immigrant family in a small Ontario town in the 1950s. Through Su-Jen?s eyes, the hard life behind the scenes at the Dragon Café, the local diner her family runs, unfolds. Su-Jen?s half-brother Lee-Kung works in the kitchen and smoulders under the responsibilities he must carry as the dutiful Chinese son. Her mother, a beautiful but bitter woman, lays her hopes and dreams on Su-Jen?s shoulders, until she turns to find solace in the most forbidden of places, while Su-Jen?s elderly father strives to hek fuh, swallow bitterness, and save face at all costs.
In the middle of it all is young Su-Jen, known as Annie at school, who is divided between two worlds. She longs to be accepted in the ways of the lo fon, white, town but is still haunted by the customs and omens of the past. It isn?t until fate plays its tragic hand that all is revealed and the carefully guarded face of the Dragon Café is shattered. In deceptively simple, intimate prose, Judy Fong Bates captures the complexities of a childhood filled with secrets, longing, and superstition, and powerfully exposes the lengths to which families will go to survive. Midnight at the Dragon Café is an original, haunting debut novel.
“Judy Fong Bates has created a novel that does what the very best fiction can do – take us into a world we could not have otherwise entered; put us among people we could not otherwise know. As quintessentially Canadian as Alice Munro, and equally delightful to read.”
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Book Description Turtleback, 2005. Library Binding. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG1417697784