If you read my blog, you know I love, love, love Lisa See’s writing (“Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”, “Shanghai Girls”, etc.). Last month I was trolling around on my Kindle, looking for something new to buy, when I came across “On Gold Mountain”. I knew this was a memoir of Ms. See’s family, but that’s all I knew about it. The price was inexpensive, so I purchased it. I was so glad I did!
“On Gold Mountain” tells the history of Lisa See’s Chinese relatives in America, starting with her great-great grandfather, who came to work on the Transcontinental Railroad, and focusing on her great-grandfather, Fong See, a Chinese peasant who grew to become a respected and wealthy businessman and leader of Los Angeles’ Chinatown, while marrying a Caucasian woman (which was against the law at the time). See tells her family’s story of hard work, love, loss, racism, and the immigrant experience through her unique and flawless writing style, often causing this reader to step back to remind herself that this was not historical fiction, but a memoir. Truly real life can give us the best stories!
I saw that “On Gold Mountain” is releasing this week in what appears to be a new edition, so my reading couldn’t have been timelier!