In Yee’s gorgeous debut novel, teenager Tam Ling Fan watches one evening within the late 1860s as her father, the native Justice of the Peace of their city in China, is arrested on fabricated prices. The household’s solely hope of incomes the cash wanted to free him is the contract Ling Fan’s twin brother, Tam Jing Fan, has to work on the transcontinental railroad in America. However when Jing Fan dies of influenza, Ling Fan disguises herself as her brother to meet the contract herself.
After a nauseating sea voyage to California, Ling Fan units to work on the railroad, dodging all the risks of the job, together with explosions, tunnel collapses, and the sometimes-violent racism of white Individuals. The stakes shoot greater when a fellow employee discovers and threatens to show Ling Fan’s secret, and she or he has to combat not just for her job but additionally for her life.
Yee has wrapped an emotional, page-turning story round a plucky, brave protagonist. Although courageous and decided, Ling Fan isn’t any Mary Sue. She struggles with concern and anger and typically makes dangerous selections, however she finally works via them to do the precise factor. Yee additionally doesn’t draw back from illuminating the racism in opposition to not solely the Chinese language staff on the railroad but additionally the Native Individuals via whose land the railroad ran. In a world conditioned to see every part in black and white, Yee challenges readers to see the nuance of life, particularly in terms of the motives of different folks.
Good for followers of Jamie Ford and Stacey Lee, this younger grownup novel is extremely really helpful for teenagers and adults alike.