Ghost Girl, Banana

HarperAudio. Apr. 2023. 12:15 hrs. ISBN 9780063239753. $27.99. F
In Wharton’s debut novel, 26-year-old Londoner Lily discovers that she has inherited a small fortune from Hei Fong Lee, an entrepreneur she doesn’t know. Lily, who struggles with depression, has always lived in the shadow of her perfect sister Maya, who attempts to hide that she, too, has inherited money. Lily barely remembers anything about her mother, Sook-Yin, and suddenly decides to visit her family to learn more about the inheritance and her family history. Hong Kong is poised to be turned over to China in 1997, and the city’s turmoil reflects what Lily learns about her mother and how she was treated after she left home for a London nursing school in 1966. Hong Kong–born narrator Jennifer Leong’s accented English is full of hopeful longing as she perfectly voices the chapters from Sook-Yin’s point of view. In contrast, Hanako Footman expertly narrates Lily’s chapters with a posh British accent that manages to vividly express her character’s mental exhaustion. Wharton strategically addresses the racism that the women encounter and also the discrimination that Sook-Yin faces for marrying a white man who isn’t the man she thinks he is.
VERDICT Recommend to book clubs and fans of historical mysteries and family epics.
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