In this sharp-edged, dark historical drama, a young Chinese boy’s attempt at a normal life in Canada crumbles after he falls prey to a human trafficking ring. It’s the peak of the civil war in China. With Mao Zedong’s rebel forces gaining momentum, fourteen-year-old Tao Wen Shun is forced to board a ship to Canada by his family to escape the terrors of Mao’s regime. But instead of a Chinese family awaiting him on the other side, he finds himself trapped in the clutches of a human trafficking ring. Fillis skillfully chronicles Wen’s courageous ascent to liberation, imbuing his story with a sense of claustrophobia and hope. Wen Shun is gutsy, resourceful, and keen to help others, and his journey to freedom is inspiring as he remains standing tall in the face of the relentless difficulties life throw his way. Crisp prose, the affecting first-person narrative, and tension-filled, tight plotting keep the readers turning pages nonstop. The conclusion is left unresolved, leaving readers excited for the next installment. Paired with the atmospheric setting, the exploration of the themes of human trafficking, racial discrimination, and individual struggles makes for a thoroughly engrossing coming of age tale.
Categories: historical drama