Saturday, October 16, 2010

Girl in Translation

Girl in TranslationGirl in Translation by Jean Kwok

On the library stacks: Adult fiction

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah-Kim immigrated with her mother to Brooklyn from Hong Kong in the 1980s. Kim's aunt and uncle, who own a clothing factory, have paid their way, and now Kim and her mother are heavily indebted. Her mother works tirelessly in the clothing factory, while Kim struggles through 6th grade and works in the factory in the afternoon. They live in utter poverty, but Kim was a brilliant student in Hong Kong and she is committed to taking full advantage of the opportunity she and her mother have been given to make a better life for themselves in America.

This was a beautiful coming-of-age story. Kim learns about true friendship and love as she grows and matures. I was immersed in Kim's world--her joys and her struggles. I liked how she valued her cultural roots, but also knew when she needed to break away from some of her traditions. The story felt so authentic because the author went through many of the same struggles herself.

I felt like the story had a great flow, although I wasn't a huge fan of the ending. I also kind of wished that it had been a YA book instead of adult fiction. But, I think this would make a great book club selection, and I definitely recommend this one.

Also reviewed by: Book Nut ~ Bibliophile by the Sea ~ Book Addiction ~ Capricious Reader ~ The Book Nest ~ Reading Extravaganza ~ Thoughts of Joy... ~ Your link here?

Book 95 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Source: Library


bermudaonion said...

I love immigrant stories so I'm really looking forward to this one.

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

I've read such good things about this...I put it on hold at the library.

Thoughts of Joy said...

I thought the same thing about it being considered a YA book and gave it the same rating. Thanks for the link, Tricia!

Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I liked this story a lot; great review.

Nina said...

This sounds so beautiful and the cover really stands out. I've been seeing this book around and I probably borrow a copy at the library. Great review.

alisonwonderland said...

I finished this one today. I, too, thought it was a great read!

Early on in my reading, I wondered why it had been published for the adult market rather than the YA market. How are those decisions made?