By Judy Fong Bates
The lifetime of a tender chinese language woman is torn aside through darkish kin secrets and techniques and divided loyalties in a small Ontario city within the Nineteen Fifties. Judy Fong Bates's clean and fascinating first novel is the tale of Su-Jen Chou, a chinese language woman becoming up the one daughter of an unsatisfied and remoted immigrant kin in a small Ontario city within the Fifties. via Su-Jen's eyes we see the challenging lifestyles backstage on the Dragon Caf, the neighborhood diner her relatives runs. Her half-brother Lee-Kung smolders lower than the obligations he needs to hold because the dutiful chinese language son. Her mom, attractive yet sour, lays her hopes and goals on Su-Jen's shoulders, until eventually she turns to discover solace within the so much forbidden of areas, whereas Su-Jen's aged father strives to hek fuh, swallow bitterness, and retailer face in any respect expenditures.
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Extra info for Midnight at the Dragon Cafe: A Novel
He was tall and skinny, with quick-moving hands. After the cakes were baked, cooled, and taken out of their tins, he would place each one on a round platform attached to a rotating stand; wielding a thin steel spatula, he would smooth the mound of icing that had been spooned on top. Next he would fill a white V-shaped bag with more icing and poise the tip over the cake, squeezing out frilly edges and flowers. There were cupcakes sprinkled with shredded coconut and others filled with lemon curd and dusted with icing sugar.
I watched the same customers come for meals, for morning coffee, for afternoon Coke and French fries. Fifteen minutes after the whistle blew at the tanning factory the bachelor diners would start coming into the Dragon Cafe for supper. Every other weekend my father and Uncle Yat counted on extra business because of payday at the factory. They looked forward to visits from Pock Mark Lee with his grocery truck, buying ingredients from him for the Chinese meals that we ate each day. My parents continued to read the Chinese newspaper that came in the mail and to talk about the Communists in China.
We walked up Main Street and continued through town to the bridge that crossed Willow Creek below the school. My mother seemed to hesitate, and glanced nervously at me before stepping on the bridge. As we started on the asphalt path that wound up the hill on the other side, she stopped again and turned around to stare at the icy creek with its cracks of melting water. "You must be careful by the river, Su-Jen. Always hold the rail when you are on the bridge," she admonished, pointing to the iron railing, the muscles in her face tense.