Rating: 4 stars.
The story is set at the turn of the century in San Francisco, the catastrophic earthquake looming in our minds. Mercy Wong, American by birth, but of Chinese descent, and at this time, that is all that matters. Trying to break out of the poverty of Chinatown, she attempts to manipulate her way into getting an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls. With the social world in conflict, and the natural world on the brink of destruction, we find out what Mercy is truly made of when disaster hits.
This book had been popping up on my radar for the last two months, as the plot line really intrigued me. It’s an era of time from a perspective that I don’t normally read from, and was thrilled with the result.
Mercy was a character I instantly fell in love with. Her devotion to her family was beautiful, and her drive and motivation to try and better her standing, and coming face to face with racial tensions, gave her depth. I could see this character really develop and change through the conflicts that she faced throughout the story.
The setting was also beautifully written. The author did a marvelous job painting rich and vivid pictures of San Francisco during this time period. Beautiful emotively inducing language.
Recommendation: There’s nothing in here that makes me think it can’t be read to younger audiences. A great historical fiction, rich in depth and detail.