This is a very sad story of sad things happening to unlucky people. Just the sort of novel I do not usually like. I would not have picked this up ordinarily, but not one but two of my book clubs chose this so I gave it a go. And, book clubs are a great way to open your mind to new writers, you never know what you might find.
This is the story of a twelve-year old Chinese-American boy who grew up in an orphanage in Depression-era Seattle. He sets out to find his mother, who is a movie actress. He does find her, and we hear the tragic tale of how he came into existence and how she had to give him up. These two characters have never done any wrong, and always made decisions for the right reasons. But bad people have done bad things to them and they have also had some bad luck along the way. This is just the sort of writing I dislike, and the kind of one-dimensional characters that leave me cold.
The book was depressing and rather dull from the outset, and as the story unfolds, the characters’ lives go from bad to worse. There is at least a happy ending, although a disappointingly predictable one.