Information about the author.
“Ten days before Christmas I lost her. What do I remember? Every little thing…. For twenty-one years I’ve picked away at my memory of it, lifting up moments, testing myself. Believing I might have finally healed to a neat white scar.”
Pregnant with her first child, Eve Green recalls her mother’s death when she was eight years old and her struggle to make sense of her parents’ mysterious romantic past. Eve is sent to live with her grandparents in rural Wales, where she finds comfort in friendships with Daniel, a quiet farmhand, and Billy, a disabled, reclusive friend of her mother’s. When a ravishing local girl disappears, one of Eve’s friends comes under suspicion. Eve will do everything she can to protect him, but at the risk of complicity in a matter she barely understands. This is a timeless and beautifully told story about family secrets and unresolved liaisons.
The first time Eliza sees Wah Chung, he is squatting beside some rocks on the pathway to her island. Eliza’s island is the one on which the lighthouse—operated and maintained by her father—stands, sending its beacon of safety to ships at sea. The pathway to the island is a treacherous one, engulfed by water when the tide is high, passable only when the tide is low and reveals the secret life of the sea on the rocks and in the pools that remain.
Although Eliza is careful to avoid Wah Chung as he paints among the rocks (after all, he is a Chinaman), when a “sneaker wave” approaches the passage, it is Wah Chung who warns her and then rescues Eliza’s goat, Parthenia, before both are swept away.
It is a simple act of kindness, but one that causes Eliza to doubt many things. Are the Celestials, as the Chinese immigrants…[more]