Arlene J. Chai (b. 1955) is a Filipino-Chinese-Australian who migrated to Australia with her parents and sisters in 1982 because of the political upheaval. She became an advertising copywriter at George Patterson's advertising agency in 1972 and has been working there since. It is there that she met her mentor Bryce Courtney, who continuously inspires her to improve her work.
She won the Louis Braille Adult Audio Book of the year for her novel "On the Goddess Rock" in 1999.
The cover was exotic I had to read it. However, I was a bit disappointed with the first half of the book. Too many characters, too many plots, going on at the same time. I feel that the editor could have picked it up and fixed it better, I understand that the writer tried to tell the story of 2 different families, but I believe it can be done neater. Rather than going back and forth from 1 family to the other in alternate chapter, it could have been grouped together, 1 big chapter for family A, 2nd big chapter for family B.
I almost gave up.
Luckily the story picked up at about half of the book, so I was able to finish it. The story was a bit like serial TV drama-telenovela type, with a heartbroken lady singing loudly to attract attention, family secret, revenge. I didn't really learn anything from this book, it was an okay pastime material which needed a bit of perseverance in the beginning.
I love reading Arlene Chai's books. I find it difficult to tear myself away from reading and then when finished sad to leave the characters. I enjoy reading her descriptions of the culture that is part of her heritage and the different eras in which her characters live.