Book review: Arizona Awakening: A Memoir of Romance, Race, and Redemption by Richard C Lin

BookView Review rated it:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Author website

Book excerpt

Note: This review is for an unpublished manuscript

Lin unfurls an exquisite story of life and love in this gripping memoir, as he sifts through the memories of his coming of age in the 1980s American southwest. Born to Chinese immigrant parents, Richard spent his childhood enduring racial taunts at school and his father’s harsh discipline at home. When the lovely Lesley, the new girl in town, walks in Richard’s life, the things seem to get better. But the true love is something that’s hard to come by. With extraordinary candor and wit, Lin vividly details his parents’ occasional fights, the harsh discipline at home, while charting both the highs and lows of his teen life. A candid, brutally honest first-person narrative creates intimacy, capturing Lin’s innermost world, and readers will find themselves becoming immersed in his boyhood shenanigans. In recounting his epic story of love, he evokes poignant emotions through careful, occasionally witty prose. Lin’s strength is his ability to delve into the dreary parts of his youth without any melodrama (he is unusually considerate when it comes to his parents’ weaknesses) and this combined with his remarkable storytelling, keeps the reader thoroughly invested. A thoughtful personal reflection, this un-put-downable, satisfying story about young love, racism, and social prejudices is easy to fall for.


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