• Print Length: 320 pages
• Publisher: Harper (April 14, 2015)
A sweeping debut, crossing from China to Hawaii, that follows three generations of a wealthy dynasty whose rise and decline is riddled with secrets and tragic love—from a young, powerful new voice in fiction
Frank Leong, a prominent shipping industrialist and head of the celebrated Leong family, brings his loved ones from China to Hawaii at the turn of the twentieth century, abandoning his interests at the port of Tsingtao when the Japanese invade. But something ancient follows the Leongs to the islands, haunting them—the parable of the red string of fate. According to Chinese legend, the red string binds one to her intended beloved, but also punishes for mistakes in love, twisting any misstep into a destructive knot that passes down through generations.
When Frank Leong is murdered on Oahu, his family is thrown into a perilous downward spiral. Left to rebuild in their patriarch’s shadow, the surviving Leongs attempt a new, ordinary life, vowing to bury their gilded past. Still, the island continues to whisper—fragmented pieces of truth and chatter—until a letter arrives two decades later, carrying a confession that shatters the family even further.
Now the Leongs’ survival rests with young Theresa, Frank’s only grandchild. Eighteen and pregnant, Theresa holds the answers to her family’s mysteries and is left to carry the burden of their mistakes. On the day of her father’s funeral, as the Leongs gather to mourn the loss of their firstborn son, Theresa must decide what stories to tell, with whom to side, and which knots will endure for another generation.
Told through the eyes of the Leongs’ secret-keeping daughters and wives—and spanning the Boxer Rebellion, Pearl Harbor, and 1960s Hawaii—Diamond Head is an exploration of whether there’s such a thing as a legacy of the heart. Passionate and devastating, it is a story filled with love, lies, loss, and—most astounding of all—hope.
Thanks for stopping by my stop on the blog tour for Diamond Head by Cecily Wong! I’d like to send a big thank you to both Cecily Wong and TLC Book Tours for giving me the chance to read this book for an honest review!
Diamondhead is work of historical fiction that tells the story of the Leong family. It spans multiple generations and takes place geographically in both China and Hawaii.
This book was pretty complex in it’s storytelling which I loved and the writing was beautiful. My favorite parts of this story were when pieces of the family history were revealed whatever it may have been like Hong telling the story of when she met and fell in love Shen or really anything told about the family’s past. I love that the story is told through the women of the family…their narratives show their strengths, weaknesses, loves and tragedies. The family’s history get’s so interesting as we slowly discover it’s secrets – from lost loves and mistakes to tragedies and happiness. One thing I really loved that this book did really well was to describe war and the settings of China and Hawaii. I felt like I was there! I love how even though there are sad things that happen throughout the story there is love and hope reflected throughout, especially at the story’s conclusion which also seems like a promising beginning.
I struggled with what rating to give this book because I did love it but it took me a little bit to get into the story. I ended up giving this book a 4 star rating. If you love Asian fiction or even just historical fiction in general, don’t miss out on reading this book!
About Cecily Wong
Cecily Wong is Chinese-Hawaiian. She was born on Oahu and raised in Oregon. Diamond Head grew from family stories told to her by her parents and grandparents. Wong graduated from Barnard College, where the first pages of this novel won the Peter S. Prescott Prize for Prose Writing. She lives in New York City.