Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Books I've Loved: Outrun the Moon
Earlier this year I read Stacey Lee's first book, a western in which a Chinese girl and a black slave went on the run together. I loved that book so much that I was eagerly anticipating this one.
And I wasn't disappointed.
While I'm sure some of the history isn't 100% correct, this story is so well told and immerses you so completely in early 20th Century San Francisco, you don't really question the reality. Or at least, I didn't.
Mercy Wong is a great protagonist, headstrong, challenging and completely focused on getting what she wants. And tenacious enough not to let any obstacle stand in her way. Even the earthquake which devastated San Francisco in 1906 isn't enough to dampen her spirits.
In fact, it forces her to make choices and do extraordinary things that will change her life, and probably the lives of everyone around her.
But don't just listen to me… Here's the blurb:
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.
On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?