Steer Toward Rock by Fae Myenne Ng [in Bloomsbury Review]
Some 15 years after her award-wining literary debut with her bestselling novel, Bone, Ng finally returns with a gorgeous, yet heartbreaking story of unrequited love in 1960s San Francisco. Jack Moon Szeto arrives as a paper son to one of Chinatown’s bosses. In return for his illegal entry, Jack must eventually marry his fake father’s mistress. He spends his entire life in love with American-born Joice Qwan, who gives him a daughter, but can never commit her love to him.
Jack finally breaks his false bonds by betraying his fake father to the immigration authorities when he confesses his own illegal status – the elder Szeto is indeed deported, but not without exacting a grave price from his paper son. Not until his adult daughter finally challenges him can the middle-aged Jack finally begin his own process of making his own long overdue American claims.
Review: “TBR’s Editors’ Favorites of 2008,” The Bloomsbury Review, November/December 2008