FICTION

Mambo in Chinatown

Riverhead. Jun. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781594632006. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101632550. F
COPY ISBN
Drawing on personal experience, Kwok follows up her New York Times best-selling Girl in Translation with a new novel featuring 22-year-old Charlie Wong, a dishwasher who gets caught up in the world of professional ballroom dancing. Charlie lives in New York's Chinatown, sharing her life with her noodle-maker father and her extremely bright 11-year-old sister, Lisa. At Lisa's urging, Charlie quits her dishwasher gig to take on a job as a receptionist at a dance studio. As Charlie's life begins to change, fate steps in to give her a chance to find her own identity as a professional dance instructor, while having her family believe that her job entails working with computers.
VERDICT Though the novel tries to cover too many issues and the characters (especially Charlie's dad) are more unevenly drawn than those in Girl in Translation, Kwok ventures more deeply into traditional Chinese culture to give readers a satisfying, heartfelt story about the individual's triumph over life's hardships. [See Prepub Alert, 1/6/14.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.