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Water Ghosts: A Novel by Shawna Yang Ryan
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Water Ghosts: A Novel

by Shawna Yang Ryan

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1079173,748 (3.17)2
Locke, California, 1928. Three bedraggled Chinese women suddenly appear out of the mist one afternoon in a small Chinese farming town on the Sacramento River, and their arrival throws the community into confusion. Two of the women are unknown to the townspeople, while the third is the long-lost wife of Richard Fong, the handsome manager of the local gambling parlor, who had left her behind in China many years earlier and had not yet returned for her.Richard's wife's unexpected arrival complicates his life in no small way-not least with two prostitutes at the local brothel he frequents. One, the beautiful young Chloe, depends on him but has eyes for someone else, someone even more forbidden: the local preacher's daughter. The other, Poppy, the psychic madam of the brothel, is desperately in love with Richard, and she begins to sink into despair as he grows further and further away from her.As the lives of the townspeople become inextricably intertwined with the newly arrived women, Poppy's premonitions begin to foretell a deep unhappiness for all involved. And when a flood threatens the livelihood of the entire town, the frightening power of these mysterious women who arrived in the mist will be revealed.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I had to read this book for a class on the American Gothic, and I am so glad I did. This is truly an amazing work, unlike anything I've read before. Stylistically it is as jarring as the three boat women -- there are no quotation marks, leading to a lyrical sort of reading with multiple interpretations. The mixing of cultures and traditions leads to a unique setting during a difficult time in American history. ( )
  robotmuse | Jun 29, 2013 |
I expected a lot more from this book than I actually got. This book had me scratching my head at the end of it, wondering what the point was of the story. ( )
  artikaur | Feb 17, 2013 |
This was an interesting read. It was my first Goodreads Giveaway win, so thanks to Goodreads and the ones that opened the contest! This was a quick, light read, but it was a little difficult to follow. There aren't any quotation marks used when people speak, so it's hard to decide what's spoken word and what is thought. The time-line also jumps around a bit, but eventually, the storyline of the characters unfold and the ending was pretty good.To be honest, the ending was probably the best part. I can't give too many stars to it because I've certainly seen historical Chinese stories done better. But if you're looking for a quick read to break up your day, than give Water Ghosts a shot. ( )
  katfusion | Oct 4, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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This work was originally published as Locke 1928, then republished by Penguin as Water Ghosts.
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A mesmerizing debut novel that weaves history and mythology around a community of Chinese immigrants and the ghosts that haunt them

Locke, California, 1928. Three bedraggled Chinese women appear out of the mist in a small Chinese farming town on the Sacramento River. Two are unknown to its residents, while the third is the long-lost wife of Richard Fong, the handsome manager of the local gambling parlor. As the lives of the townspeople become inextricably intertwined with the newly arrived women, their frightening power is finally revealed.

A lyrical imagining of what happens when a Chinese ghost story comes true, Water Ghosts is a rich tale of human passions and mingling cultures that will appeal to readers of Lisa See, Anchin Min, and Gail Tsukiyama.
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