THE LOST GIRL
BY LIZ HARRIS
What if you were trapped between two cultures?
Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.
Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well. The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.
When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.
But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy …
Genre: Historical Romantic Fiction
Heart of the West: Book 3
Release Date: 8th August 2016
Publisher: Choc Lit
Living in the twenty first century it’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that in America in the 1800s, mixed marriages were not only taboo, they were illegal. Charity, a Chinese baby found by seven year old Joe Walker taken in and raised by his family, finds herself in nomandsland. The other townsfolk shun her, she’s bullied at school and has no friends. The Chinese community are also wary of her. She may look like them but she dresses and speaks like a white American. Right from the start, Joe has taken personal responsibility for her and has always been her friend so when he quits the family home to pursue a life as a cattle drover it leaves a huge gap in her life. She eventually befriends a young girl, Su Lin and their friendship brings her closer to the Chinese community. By the time Joe returns, nearly seven years later, Charity is seventeen and has agreed to marry Su Lin’s brother. Despite trying to fight his feelings, Joe finds himself drawn to Charity, now a beautiful young woman. When he discovers the feeling is mutual and she has broken off her marriage promise to Chen Fai, their relationship moves into dangerous waters.
One thing I love about Choc Lit is the variety of their books. Liz Harris has delivered an amazing story, written in great detail to reflect the society Charity lived in; its morals and expectations. That a white man could be imprisoned or possibly hung for marrying a Chinese woman is quite shocking. But you also get to see the other side of the story; how unscrupulous mine bosses undercut the white miners’ wages by employing Chinese labour at a fraction of the price. Therefore it wasn’t hard to understand why the white miners became so resentful of the Chinese. Lots of detail went into this book and made it, in my opinion, a thought provoking and quite special read. Joe wasn’t written in the usual Choc Lit hero style but he was, nevertheless, worthy of the title.
I would like to thank Brook Cottage Books for a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
ABOUT LIZ HARRIS
Liz Harris lives south of Oxford. Her debut novel was THE ROAD BACK (US Coffee Time & Romance Book of 2012), followed by A BARGAIN STRUCK (shortlisted for the RoNA Historical 2013), EVIE UNDERCOVER, THE ART OF DECEPTION and A WESTERN HEART. All of her novels, which are published by Choc Lit, have been shortlisted in their categories in the Festival of Romantic Fiction. In addition, Liz has had several short stories published in anthologies. Her interests are theatre, travelling, reading, cinema and cryptic crosswords.