20 October 2015

Today's Read: Red Eggs and Good Luck by Angela Lam

Red Eggs and Good Luck by Angela LamWhat kind of person would you be if you grew up feeling as if you were always in limbo? Angela Lam was neither all Chinese nor all American and had no personal power but many dreams. This is her story.

I'm eleven, not quite a little girl, not quite a young woman. There are things I know that I should not know, things of which I am not to speak, such as: I am not supposed to know my father works as a checkout clerk, not the grocery store manager. I am not supposed to know the dolls I play with are stolen. I am not supposed to know my parents have gambled away the second mortgage on the house instead of investing it in a new toilet, a shower with working doors, dual-pane windows, and a new roof. I am supposed to be a China doll, silent and submissive, an example to my sisters: Cynthia, eight, and Elizabeth, six.
Red Eggs and Good Luck by Angela Lam (SparkPoint Studio / She Writes Press, 2015, p. 1, ARC)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times, California
  • Circumstances: Angela Lam, a Chinese American, was raised by parents who had exacting but conflicting expectations for their daughters. Even more, her mother and especially her father held the sisters to an ethical standard that they themselves didn't even try to meet. Only later, after her father has a health crisis, does Angela begin to stand up for herself.
  • People: Angela Lam; her sisters, Cynthia and Elizabeth; her mother, Margaret (Lammie Pie); her father Dave (Chee); various relatives; other people they come in contact with.
  • Genre: memoir
  • Themes: family, honesty, standing up for yourself, being yourself, independence, juggling others' expectations, growing up Chinese American, hope, understanding, forgiveness
  • What I liked: The writing style and the story itself have a novel-esque feel. Once I started this memoir, I read it straight through in one sitting (it's short). Fascinating and heartbreaking all at once. My heart went out to young Angela, hoping for all good things for her. I'm not sure I would have found my voice if I had grown up in her family, but I'm glad Angela decided to speak out. You should know that, despite her father's controlling ways, Angela felt loved, even if she learned not to trust what she was told.
  • Recommendations: Lam's well-written memoir gives us a look at a family struggling with personal vices and clashing cultural traditions, with personal dreams and family obligations. Now that Lam has found her voice, you won't want to miss her poignant observations, poetic language, and master storytelling talent. Highly recommended.


Karen and Gerard 10/20/15, 6:44 AM  

Good teaser, sounds like something I would like. Adding this to my TBR!

rhonda 10/20/15, 7:00 AM  

My type of book love memoirs lintimate views of other cultures.Will be picking this one up.

Unknown 10/20/15, 7:55 AM  

I might have passed right by this book. Now your teaser has me intrigued. Thanks for sharing.
Here's my TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/10/20/teaser-tuesdays-133-flask-of-the-drunken-master/

JoAnn 10/20/15, 8:13 AM  

Haven't seen this book before, but it sounds like they type of memoir I enjoy. Wonder if my library has a copy...

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 10/20/15, 8:28 AM  

I LOVE that narrator and a "new to me" book - need to check this out.

Katherine P 10/20/15, 8:56 AM  

This sounds interesting and a bit heartbreaking. I haven't read much of this type of memoir but I think I'd definitely enjoy it.

Yvonne 10/20/15, 9:06 AM  

Ooohhh...great teaser.

Monica's Bookish Life 10/20/15, 9:20 AM  

Interesting title, and the intro makes me want to keep reading!

Sherrey Meyer 10/20/15, 9:23 AM  

Thanks for a look at this memoir. I'm currently writing mine, and I love to read what others have done with theirs.

Unknown 10/20/15, 9:25 AM  

Wow, this sounds like a great read, Beth; I would definitely continue reading. I'll be on the lookout for this one; thanks for sharing it with us!

Literary Feline 10/20/15, 10:43 AM  

I don't often read memoirs anymore, but this sounds really good, like one I could relate to in some ways. Thanks for sharing!

Laurel-Rain Snow 10/20/15, 11:21 AM  

I love memoirs, especially those that feel as though the author is speaking to me, the reader.

The themes are some I can relate to, in many ways. Not the background or being Chinese/American, but the secrets and lies that hide behind a family's facade.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Sandra Nachlinger 10/20/15, 11:50 AM  

This sounds like a fascinating story. What a lot of pressure was put on the author by her parents! How she overcame that must make for a good story.
Thank you for stopping by my blog today. Your comments are sincerely appreciated.

Margot 10/20/15, 12:04 PM  

I immediately liked the first-person writing style and felt the character of the little girl coming through. All that in one paragraph is pretty good writing. I want to read this one.

Unknown 10/20/15, 1:45 PM  

I don't typically read memoirs; I tend to get overly attached to the characters. Not only that but their plights linger well with me for more than I would hope ha ha! This is not to say that I won't ever read one, I have, and this one does pique my interest. Thank you for sharing this one Beth :)

Kathy Martin 10/20/15, 1:56 PM  

Sounds interesting. My teaser this week comes from Nine Lives by Wendy Corsi Staub. Happy reading!

Peggy Ann 10/20/15, 2:53 PM  

Definitely keep reading! Love that it is told first person by an 11 year old.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 10/20/15, 3:06 PM  

I love the intro, cover, and title. Thanks for sharing this new-to-me book--I'll be putting it on my wish list.

Nickle 10/21/15, 3:56 PM  

Sounds like a very sad book. I like the cover, I think it's cute.

my TT

Cleopatra Loves Books 10/21/15, 4:17 PM  

This is just the type of memoir I enjoy, one where the speaker triumphs out of adversity - thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

Daryl 10/22/15, 9:38 AM  

while i am not usually a non fiction reader, this sounds very interesting ... thanks!

Anonymous,  10/22/15, 9:02 PM  

Nice teaser, thanks for sharing.

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