The Many Daughters of Afong Moy – seven generations impacted by trauma and the search for love.
This highly original novel spans over 250 years. In 1836, Afong Moy becomes the first Chinese woman to immigrate to the United States. Her story is a poignant one. The lives of her ancestors are also tragic. The Moy women include Faye, a nurse serving in China during World War II; Faye’s mother, Lai King Moy; Zoe Moy and Greta Moy who, in 2014, is living in Seattle and is a tech genius. By the time it is 2045, Dorothy Moy, a poet and teacher, is filled with memories that are clearly not her own. Her partner, and father to her daughter Annabel, is unsupportive. Dorothy’s therapist feels she is a perfect candidate for experimental treatment in epigenetics, which studies the transmission of trauma through genetics. Trauma is something each of the seven generations of women have experienced. Is there a chance to stop the past from repeating?
The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is an intriguing, thought-provoking story by author Jamie Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet). The lives of each of the Moy women were interesting and heartbreaking. While Afong Moy was a real, historical figure, her family history is fictionalized. The story of her exploitation by two American promoters, however, is real and well described. She was paraded across the country in a traveling show. Her tragic life would have been worthy of a whole book. After Afong, the majority of the story is devoted to Dorothy and her own trauma and pain. Whether the subject of epigenetics provides any interest to you or not, the book is a compelling one. The experiences of each of these women during different periods in history provides the book’s greatest appeal. As the story progresses, it delves more into magical realism, which was a bit complicated yet still held my interest. A very powerful book!
Many thanks to Atria Books | Simon & Schuster for the opportunity read this book in advance of its publication.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Historical Fiction, Speculative Fiction/Magical Realism.
Publication Date: August 2, 2022.
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