Top positive review
Among the Best Books I've Ever Read
Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2017
I can't even begin to say how much I loved this book. It brought out emotions in me that I never would have expected. This is the story of a young Chinese-American woman whose family is forced to leave the United States. All the Chinese in Seattle, US citizens or not, are rounded up one morning and made to buy passage on a ship that's said to be heading to China. (Sounds similar to current events in the United States.) It isn't. Overhearing a conversation between the ship's owner and it's captain, the girl rushes to tell her father the fate that awaits them, and it's not a good one. He takes action and makes her jump into the water in the hope that at least she will survive and make it back to land. She's seen "falling overboard" and rescued by a kind and caring man who takes her back to his farm and nurses her back to health. In time, they marry and lead a fairly happy life, having a child. Water, however, is always a malevolent character in this story.
The take of Mei Lein is juxtaposed with that of Inara Erickson. Inara has just received finished school with a degree in International Business and has recently inherited the family's estate on Orca Island off the coast of Seattle. While her father insists she take a job with Starbucks, Inara has other ideas, wanting to develop the estate into a luxury, specialty hotel. While on the island, she discovers a loosened stair tread. Curious, she moves it away and discovers a small package wrapped in fabric. She opens the package and discovers a silk sleeve with remarkable embroiders. She researches this unusual finding online and discovers a professor at a nearby university who specializes in such things. She seeks him out and, as easily as that, the story blooms into a full and fulfilling book.
This book did what few can, it made me cry, deep, bone-shaking sobs, and made me miss my parents more that I can say.
If you want to read an excellent novel, filled with true emotion and history that may well be repeating itself, this is the one.