Our protagonist Ruby Lee finds herself broke and jobless one summer, and reluctantly resigned herself to staying with her parents in Queens behind their laundry shop. Her parents accept her prodigal return with unspoken but obvious disppointment while her siblings exhibit a degree of indifference. …show more content…
Reading certain paragraphs proved to be a test of patience. I sunk into a listless desperation, hating the repetitive rambling and restlessness that almost echoed my own.
I sought brief consolation when Mei sneaked brief respite from the protagonist's narration with insightful monologues and historical recounting from Ruby's parents, siblings, and boyfriend. The struggles and dilemmas are quite common of all relationship dynamics. One worth mentioning would be her brief break up with her boyfriend following a hesitated encounter with a lesbian - perhaps worthy of comparison with a scene from Saving Face (Alice Wu).
While Mei's approach and storyline is somewhat similar to Amy's (although not at par with Amy's fluidity or eloquence), she has an engaging (if inconsistent, argh!) writing style of her own. Admittedly, Mei Ng's debut effort certainly proves that she has much potential. But it is unfortunate that this experience left a very tart and irritable sting on my palate - I should have hesitated three times before picking (yet) another novel on the asian-american cultural/personal struggle with