Lori's Reviews > On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family

On Gold Mountain by Lisa See
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's review
Feb 03, 2010

liked it
Read from February 05 to March 01, 2010

On Gold Mountain is the history of the See family and like most histories it is most interesting to the one telling it. For me, this book club choice was boring with a capital B. Approximately 400 pages of family history from Lisa See's great great grandfathers immigration to work on the transcontinetal railroad to her latest sojourn to the small Chinese town of Dimato to meet her great grandfathers and great uncles third and fourth family relatives from their concubines left in China. Make your head spin? Keeping the memebers of the original See family straight was tough but trying to keep up with the second wives, third wives and fourth wives and their children was frustrating and boring. It seemed to me that this was in essence the American story. It told about the lives of immigrants who came to a new place to find wealth and happiness and instead found discrimination, back breaking work and in the Fong See's case success. Lisa See interjects throughout the book facts regarding Chinese discrimination and hardship through the years as this group of immigrants struggle to become citizens with equal rights in this country. In all the most amazing part of the book for me was the marriage between Fong See and Letticie Pruitt. This was an unheard of union at the time and must have required a bravery on both their parts. The fact that this couple produced four sons and one daugther and two successful import companies is no small feat. As the book went on it was heartbreaking to read about the distance, petty differences, and shortcomings between the five original See children. I suppose that their story is also the story of every family. As children grow up they often grow apart. What original immigrant parents value their children often turn against. In the end, Lisa See provided a very detailed account of her families joys, hardships, success and failures. For me, it was about 200 pages too long and in the end bittersweet.
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Reading Progress

02/11/2010 page 54
12.05% "slow,slow going........" 1 comment
02/20/2010 page 113
25.22% "getting better, a well told story but is not read quickly"

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Donna Davis It helps to have a strong interest in Asian-American history. But if you're just looking for an interesting read? No.

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