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The murder of a presidential candidate draws a lot of publicity and theories in the year 1944. Amy Chua invites the reader to take a trip through the 1930s and 40s as America deals with battles overseas and within to solve a murder that appears to be tied to a mystery more than a decade older. But to simplify this story to just a murder mystery would short change it. This is a story of mankind.
Three granddaughters. A strong grandmother. A dead politician. An insane woman. A dead sister. Communists sneaking around. The leader of China’s wife. Hidden Japanese. The rich. The poor. This is only the tip of the iceberg of the cast in this story. It will take a determined San Francisco police detective who has his own secrets as to his ethnic background to dig through generations of prejudice and the current law to discuss the truth. As he does, the reader finds more than just mystery.
This book is about people, culture, and the soul. The story takes long drives through the lives of the Asian population in America during World War II and how they had to live through strong prejudices and fight a society that turned against them. It detours through the Mexican culture, the poor workers who are usually ignored, and those who demanded rights for workers and are considered dangerous Communists. It looks into the darkness of a society and of individuals as they battle their greed, lust, and mental health. This is not simply a murder mystery story.
Looking for a read that will keep your book club talking? This is the book you have to choose. Reading one chapter will give you an evening’s worth of discussions. I honestly have no idea how you can just read this book and create a quick summary. It is too deep and thought-provoking to limit its desription to just a few sentences. Even a succinct review is impossible. This is a book for the ages that should become a classic. It should be a must read for anyone who wants a book that does more than tell a light-hearted story. I don’t usually read books more than once, but this is one I could read over and over.
Oh, and to the mystery in the story…. A great one. I could not figure out the truth of who did it, why, and how. Another score for the author.
If you want to experience something that not many books can give, you’ll want to get your own copy here.