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Daughters of Shandong (Hardcover)

Daughters of Shandong By Eve J. Chung Cover Image
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A propulsive, extraordinary novel about a mother and her daughters’ harrowing escape to Taiwan as the Communist revolution sweeps through China, by debut author Eve J. Chung, based on her family story

Daughters are the Ang family’s curse.

In 1948, civil war ravages the Chinese countryside, but in rural Shandong, the wealthy, landowning Angs are more concerned with their lack of an heir. Hai is the eldest of four girls and spends her days looking after her sisters. Headstrong Di, who is just a year younger, learns to hide in plain sight, and their mother—abused by the family for failing to birth a boy—finds her own small acts of rebellion in the kitchen. As the Communist army closes in on their town, the rest of the prosperous household flees, leaving behind the girls and their mother because they view them as useless mouths to feed.

Without an Ang male to punish, the land-seizing cadres choose Hai, as the eldest child, to stand trial for her family’s crimes. She barely survives their brutality. Realizing the worst is yet to come, the women plan their escape. Starving and penniless but resourceful, they forge travel permits and embark on a thousand-mile journey to confront the family that abandoned them.

From the countryside to the bustling city of Qingdao, and onward to British Hong Kong and eventually Taiwan, they witness the changing tide of a nation and the plight of multitudes caught in the wake of revolution. But with the loss of their home and the life they’ve known also comes new freedom—to take hold of their fate, to shake free of the bonds of their gender, and to claim their own story.

Told in assured, evocative prose, with impeccably drawn characters, Daughters of Shandong is a hopeful, powerful story about the resilience of women in war; the enduring love between mothers, daughters, and sisters; and the sacrifices made to lift up future generations.

About the Author

Eve J. Chung is a Taiwanese American human rights lawyer focusing on gender equality and women’s rights. She lives in New York with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

Praise For…

"For several breathless days, I ignored all of my daily duties while Daughters of Shandong held me in its spell. An empowering and uplifting tale of the bonds between mother and daughter in the most challenging of times. I loved it."
Dolen Perkins-Valdez, New York Times bestselling author of Take My Hand

“In Eve J. Chung's skillful debut, she creates a winding, breathtaking tale through the many political upheavals of mid-century China. The Ang daughters are unforgettable and complex characters who demand to be seen. Their will to survive sings on each page. Through their eyes, we see a world of fraught despair as well as blinding hope. We can't help but follow them on their extraordinary journey. Spellbindingly transportive, Daughters of Shandong is one of those rare books that stays with readers long after the last pages and promises to illuminate all the corners of humanity."
—Thao Thai, author of Banyan Moon, a Today Show Read With Jenna Book Club Pick

"If you like your historical fiction to read like a thriller, Daughters of Shandong delivers. A story of never giving up on yourself, Chung’s debut is a propulsive journey through Chinese history that shows not the women who walked so their daughters could run, but the women who fought so their daughters could fly."
Karin Tanabe, author of The Sunset Crowd

“One of those rare works of fiction that entertains, educates, and inspires. Harrowing, heartbreaking, and brilliantly paced, Daughters of Shandong is impossible to put down. I’ll definitely be recommending this one to my book club.”
Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of The Many Daughters of Afong Moy
"Human rights attorney and debut author Eve J. Chung takes personal family history and spins it into pure gold in her haunting first novel. Twelve-year-old Hai grows up in post-WWII Shandong knowing her place at the bottom of the family ladder—just another worthless daughter from a mother who cannot produce sons. But when her father and his family flee before the advancing communists, leaving Hai and her mother and sisters behind, the discarded women must fight to prove their worth, embarking on a thousand-mile journey across revolution-torn China toward the possibility of a better life. Daughters of Shandong is a powerhouse debut from a major new talent!"
Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Diamond Eye

Daughters of Shandong is a powerful and poignant interrogation of mothers, daughters, and the sacrifices they make for love. This is a story of women who unite to take fate into their own hands and to claim their voices. You won't be able to forget this compelling tale of resilience and hope.”
Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author of The Leftover Women and Girl in Translation

“From the snowy land, to the golden wheat field, to the crowded colony of tents, to the island across a glittering sea, Daughters of Shandong tells an epic journey of a mother and her three children seeking to unite with the family that abandons them. Inspired by the true story of the author's grandmother, who survived the civil war in China, the novel is impossible to put down, radiating with luminous prose, hauntingly vivid details, and unforgettable accounts of human resilience. Intimate, immersive, and utterly enthralling, Daughters of Shandong is a brilliant debut by an astonishingly gifted writer!”
Weina Dai Randel, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Last Rose of Shanghai

“A powerful and moving tale of a mother and her three daughters' resilience and strength as they escape from war-torn China in the 1940's. Their stunning story will grip you and not let go, echoing in your heart long after you've finished the last page.”
Lyn Liao Butler, author of Red Thread of Fate and Amazon bestseller Someone Else's Life

"An inspiring story of survival, resilience, and the search for home. It's a heartfelt, beautifully crafted portrait of the family ties that bind us, and the sacrifices and choices made by women at a fascinating moment in history. The fast-moving plot was riveting from start to finish. I found myself rooting for Hai, her mother and sisters right up to the book's satisfying, hopeful ending. What an impressive and powerful debut."
Helen Wan, author of The Partner Track

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593640531
ISBN-10: 0593640535
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 400
Language: English