The day nine-year-old San San and her twelve-year-old brother, Ah Liam, discover their grandmother taking a hammer to a framed portrait of Chairman Mao is the day that forever changes their lives. To prove his loyalty to the Party, Ah Liam reports his grandmother to the authorities. But his belief in doing the right thing sets in motion a terrible chain of events. Now they must flee their home on Drum Wave Islet, which sits just a few hundred meters across the channel from mainland China. But when their mother goes to procure visas for safe passage to Hong Kong, the government will only issue them on the condition that she leave behind one of her children as proof of the family's intention to return. Against the backdrop of early Maoist China, this captivating and emotional tale follows a brother, a sister, a father, and a mother as they grapple with their agonizing decision, its far-reaching consequences, and their hope for redemption.
by Yoon Ha Lee
by Kristen Randle
by Kristen Boie
by Kristen Simmons
by Kristen Heitzmann
"Narrator Emily Woo Zeller draws listeners into young San San's confusion about life in new China. During the Cultural Revolution she questions everyone's disdain for all things foreign. Zeller infuses this historical family drama with a flexible range that embraces male and female characters, as well as capturing the nuances of difference between adults and children. She transitions effortlessly between San San and her brother, Ah Liam, taking the listener on the family's painful journey of dislocation and betrayal. Zeller embodies this story of love and loss with a heartfelt undertone that highlights the loss of innocence when Ah Liam turns informer on his family. We persist, listening in dread, as with deep feeling, Zeller reveals the horrific consequences of Ah Liam's actions. M.R. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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