Bates, Judy Fong. Midnight at the Dragon Cafe.

Author:Lisowski, Heather
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

BATES, Judy Fong. Midnight at the Dragon Cafe. Perseus, Counterpoint. 316p. c2005. 158243-189-2. $14.00. SA

When Su-Jen and her mother, Lai-Jing, left Communist China in the 1950s for Canada, they spoke no English, and Su-Jen had never met her father. In Ontario, they are the only Chinese family, set apart but for the fact that Su-Jen's father owns the local Chinese restaurant, The Dragon Cafe. Su-Jen's elderly father and beautiful young mother live unhappily as strangers, not even sleeping in the same bed. Su-Jen's mother is miserable with their poverty in this new small town. The balance of this family shifts when Su-Jen's half brother, Lee-Kung, comes to live with them and work in the restaurant. Soon Lai-Jing no longer shares her daughter's bed, as she and her stepson begin a torrid affair to which Su-Jen is the only witness. As Su-Jen's family unravels before her eyes, she is rapidly adapting to life in Canada. She becomes fluent in English; she is given the school name of Annie; and she develops friendships among the Canadian girls. The best of these friends...

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