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Is Joe a patriot? Is Jackson?

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message 1: by Lin (last edited Feb 24, 2010 01:02AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lin Browne Duty and honor take many forms in this novel. Grace, Henry, even in his twisted way, Blue Evans--all believe they are in the right. And just look at the results.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Kind of like: why will Dow and Yap never betray their promise to Elder Boss? Interesting parallel. I like the way the two boys are a through-line in the book, and that they mature but don't stop navigating two societies (or four: being Chinese, being Chinese in America, surviving in the immigrant-hostile back country, and making their way in San Francisco.)

message 3: by Ellen (last edited Feb 25, 2010 09:19AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ellen Schappe Joe has to stand up to his neighbors: one man against the town. Jackson fought for family and country, just not as defined by white law. And Grace impulsively took sides too, with consequences she did not foresee. That's why the Big Hole sequence is so crucial in the book--the roots of the Chinese massacre, like the complex relationship of Joe and Grace, lie years back in time. Not until the characters tell each other their stories, at long last, do the Deep Creek investigators become a team.

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