Diamond Head

Harper. Apr. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062345431. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062345455. F
Spanning the period from the turn of the 20th century to 1964, Wong's debut novel about three generations of Leong women will hook readers from the first page and not let go until the final tragic secret is revealed. This family's journey from China to Hawaii to become island royalty is told through alternating chapters by fully developed female protagonists who Wong brings to life by making the reader actually care about them. Running through this saga is the fable of the red string of fate that binds true love but can also become knotted and frayed, causing hurt and pain. Each woman—Lin, Amy, and Theresa—chooses her fate, either through her heart or her mind, and must pay the cost, sometimes losing all that is important in the long run.
VERDICT By skillfully weaving a murder mystery into the story, Wong keeps the pace moving, and the twist ending is a surprise. The only disappointment is the abrupt conclusion that is wrapped up too neatly and quickly, leaving readers wanting more. Reading groups and fans of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club will enjoy exploring Chinese-Hawaiian history and culture with this lovely novel.
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