Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Fortunes

Davies, Peter Ho. The Fortunes. 9 CDs. unabridged. 2016. 10 3/4 hrs. Brilliance Audio. ISBN. 9781531824365. $29.99. 

Davies (The Welsh Girl) deftly weaves together four stories of the Chinese American experience to create a rich tapestry of what it takes to find acceptance in oneself and in one's country. A nineteenth century laundry worker, a Chinese film star, a friend of someone killed in a hate crime, and a half-Chinese man looking to adopt a Chinese baby; tell their stories of life in America and how their "Chinese-ness" has helped defined their American experience. Their stories are all uniquely different, yet uniquely the same; racism, questions of identity, the need for acceptance, the need to be "all-American" surface in all four stories. Raw, witty, honest, and unflinching, The Fortunes manages to capture the heart of  growing up Chinese American in this powerful novel. Impressively narrated by the talented, James Chen, who brings an authenticity to the story with his numerous accents and reserved, yet powerful telling of the story. Davies proves that he's a masterful storyteller in this emotionally gripping novel. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

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