Paperback, 332 pages
Paperback, 332 pages
Please note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for my participation in the tour. All opinions I’ve expressed here are completely honest and completely my own.
Diamond Head is the beautiful, sprawling history of the Leong family and their journey with fate. Told through the eyes of the Leong women, Diamond Head is an intricately weaved and incredibly rich tale of fate, love, and consequences.
There is a tale in Chinese culture—the red string of fate. Each person has a red string tied to their ankles, and attached to the other end is their fated soulmate. However, every mistake you make in love causes the string to knot, making it harder to to find the person at the end of it. These knots may even be passed to your children.
The year is 1964, and today is the day of Bohai Leong’s funeral. His wife Amy and his pregnant teenage daughter Theresa make their way to the Leong family home on Diamond Head. This day, this man, is what binds the story together.
As the day goes on, more of the past is revealed. Through the perspectives of Theresa, Amy, Lin and Hong, we go back and forth in time learning about the story of the Leongs and the life of Bohai. We learn who these women are and how they came to be a part of Bohai’s life.
The story of the Leongs begins in southern China in the early 20th century. Theresa tells us of her Ye Ye (her grandfather, Frank) and her Nai Nai (her grandmother, Lin). We learn of the birth of her father, Bohai, and the death of the concubine Hailee who bore him.
Hong, Bohai’s aunt, joins the Leong the family during the Boxer Uprising in China when her husband, Frank’s brother, is killed. Soon, Lin and Hong become inseparable. When Bohai comes along, they raise him together.
In 1914, the impending war causes Frank to move his family to Oahu. He, Lin, Hong, and Bohai, quickly gather their things and make their way across the Pacific to the Hawaiian Islands. There they hope to make a fresh start. Lin hopes this especially for Bohai. He is a very quiet and subdued child—too much so. Lin is frightened that something is wrong with him.
Hawaii does not enliven Bohai. He grows into a quiet man, more inclined to read a book indoors then spend any time in the sun. This is especially obvious in comparison to his brother Kaipo who was born a few years after the Leongs arrived on Oahu.
As the secretive Leong women tell their tales, we see a family that is not what it seems. We see a family shrouded in lies and half-truths, all intertwined with the red string of fate.
Each of the Leong women is remarkable in her own way. They are strong, compelled by what they believe to be fate. Theresa is fiercely loyal to her father. Amy is stoic and enigmatic. Hong is the rock that holds the family together. Lin is the matriarch who began it all.
This book is very hard to summarize—as are most family sagas. I have more sympathy now for the person who wrote the jacket, but I still think you should not read the synopsis! It has so many spoilers!
I gotta tell ya, I loved this book. Family sagas are my jam, and this one is done impeccably. The writing is top notch, the characters are very well developed, and the story is super compelling. All families have secrets and resentments, but the Leongs… Well, you just have to read it to find the skeletons in their closets. I think Amy’s story is my favourite. Again, you just have to read it.
This story is propelled by the characters as you listen to them and watch them develop. I love how in the story, the character development is mainly in the past. Therefore, each part you read gives you more understanding of the women and how they came to be the way they are.
There is mystery involved here, too, both the traditional sense (but I won’t spoil you like the jacket copy!!) and in the way the characters are developed. You only get bits and pieces of them along the way.
Honestly, I can’t say enough about this book. I’ve been thinking about it ever since I put it down. I wish I was still reading it. Also, that ending—it was so beautiful and bittersweet. I cried. Books don’t often make me actually cry.
Do you find sometimes that there are so many book genres these days that their pesky definitions allude you? You’re not alone. To make differentiating and defining genres easier, I have complied a comprehensive master glossary! Introducing Fuelled By Fiction’s Genre Glossary! You can find it easily by tapping on FEATURES and scrolling down to Genre Glossary.
At the last minute, I decided to participate in the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. This took place yesterday, and I introduced the readathon in my previous two posts. I didn’t know much about the readathon when I jumped into it, so I didn’t end up participating in any of the mini-challenges or the like. Not only that, but I didn’t have my day planned to maximize reading time…
I thought that yesterday would be a totally fine day for a readathon. I thought, Hey, I only work until 12:30, then I’m home free! Nope. That’s not what happened. I did work until 12:30pm, but then ended up having a thing a 2pm. I read for a little bit in between, but not all that much. I ended up not getting home until 3pm.
I thought, Okay, well there’s still plenty left of the day! Yes, and no. I had stayed up late the night before finishing a book because I just had to finish it, you know? So, while reading yesterday afternoon, I was overcome by sleepiness and had to have a nap. When I woke up, it turned out my parents were having company for dinner. So, I joined them. THEN I went and babysat my nephew! He’s only 11 months old so he was asleep around 9pm but still. I read for a couple hours there, but then fell asleep again…
So, not the most successful readathon, but I did have reading on my mind a lot! All in all, I read about half of Diamond Head–140 pages. That’s still pretty decent though, right? Considering? I didn’t complete a whole book or anything, let alone multiple like some people, but that’s okay! I made sure I read every spare moment I could and read when I might have otherwise watched TV 😀
This readathon is happening again in October. Now that I know that, I will plan ahead! I will make sure I know when it’s happening and clear my schedule. It’s such a fun idea. I loved all the discussion on social media with the hashtag #Readathon!
Thanks to everyone who works so hard making the readathon such a success and to all those who participated, making it so much fun! See you next time!!!!
It’s Readathon day! Like I said in my previous post, I will be doing updates throughout the day on social media! Here are my Twitter and Instagram feeds. These are the ones that I will use most often, but you can also find me on Facebook!
I have decided to join in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! This will be my second readathon this year (my first being Bout of Books), which actually makes it my second readathon ever. I really enjoyed my first one so I can’t wait for this one! I have to work tomorrow morning, but other than that, tomorrow should be smooth sailing! Yay!
Here’s what I have lined up to read tomorrow:
I’m going to finish up Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, then start on Diamond Head by Cecily Wong, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, and Black Dove White Raven by Elizabeth Wein (if I finish the others). Should be a good time! I’m very excited 🙂
Are you participating?
BEST OF ALL, SEASON THREE STARTED LAST WEEK! WEE!
For posterity sake, I’ll tell you what it’s about.
It all starts with a young woman named Sarah Manning. She’s the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She’s a hustler. She’s on the run. While at a train station, she witnesses something—something that changes everything. A woman who looked exactly like her jumps in front of a train. Sarah grabs her bag and rifles through it. Her name is Beth Childs. Sarah thinks that she might be able to escape her own life if she tries to take over Beth’s. It’s harder than she thinks, and leads to the uncovering of more secrets than she can count. Mainly, she’s part of a very exclusive club—Clone club!
If you haven’t started watching Orphan Black yet, you need to start. ASAP!
The thing that most people talk about when it comes to Orphan Black is the amazing performance of star Tatiana Maslany. She plays all of the clones. And they are in the same scenes all the time! So far there have been about nine clones, all played by Maslany. Each clone is very different, and Maslany does an amazing amazing amazing job of playing them. The characters all feel like their own people—you totally forget that they are all really the same one!
There’s Sarah—British wild child.
|Alison pretending to be Sarah|
Oh, and they are coming out with Orphan Black Funko Pop vinyl figurines! Woohoo! Let the obsession continue!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish!
Today let’s talk about our all time favourite authors!
Here are mine!