lori's Reviews > Girl in Translation

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
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's review
Nov 12, 2011

really liked it

A beautifully written and sadly realistic story of a young mother and her brilliant daughter's journey from Hong Kong to New York in search of a better life only to be stuck (and firmly held) in dire poverty while working in the mother's sister's sweatshop. The author writes beautifully and I was easily experiencing the ups and downs, triumphs, losses, and heartache of the main character as she crosses between her Chinese background, poverty, and life at the factory and her career in academia as a student in public school and later a private school where she receives a scholarship and attempts to blend in with her rich, mostly white classmates. The author uses the girl's experiences and confusion to highlight some of the interesting cultural and socioeconomic differences and barriers that exist within New York city and could be a commentary for those that exist throughout the country. The girl's triumph over these barriers and the sacrifices she makes to succeed make her relatable and caused me to turn the pages forever needing to know how the story will end.

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