MLA Platinum Award Press Release

BookBrowse Reviews Take Me Home by Brian Leung

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Take Me Home

by Brian Leung

Take Me Home by Brian Leung X
Take Me Home by Brian Leung
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2010, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2011, 304 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A love story set in 1880's Wyoming

Brian Leung's haunting, lyrical love story is a powerful parable about how someone's personal history can be superseded by the creative machinations of those involved in writing history. When Addie Maine first arrives in Dire, Wyoming, she learns that the remote mining town got its unique name from the dire straits of two intrepid brothers, early miners who perished in a snowstorm, whose skeletal remains are the stuff of local legend. She is struck by the fact that there are no facts to substantiate any of it. Wise beyond her 19 years, Addie reflects, "And wasn't that the way of history? Strangers looking at strangers from afar, telling what was knowable, filling in the rest with interesting guesses."

Indeed, powers beyond her control keep supplanting Addie's own story. The erasure begins when the young woman decides to pack all her belongings, leave Kentucky and join her brother Tommy on his homestead in the Wyoming Territory. Long ago abandoned by her mother and with her father dead, Addie laments that she is leaving behind no trace of her existence. When Addie's business relationship with Wing Lee, a Chinese immigrant, begins to blossom into a full-blown friendship, Tommy cautions her with wild imaginings about the danger she is courting, and a wave of rumors sweeps the mining camp. Of course, neither Tommy's fears or the camp's rumor mill nowhere near resemble the truth of Wing and Addie's story. Just as the wind whips across Wyoming's plains with sand and coal dust obliterating the earth's surface details, so too does time and storytelling obscure the fine nuances of this couple's truth.

Part of the power of Leung's novel is not just the skewed story of Addie and Wing's relationship but the way it is interwoven with the largely ignored facts of the way the Chinese laborers were treated as they slaved (very nearly literally) to expand America's western continental reach. After the 1885 riot during which Chinese laborers' homes are burned and many are killed Addie reads a newspaper article claiming that the governor of Wyoming is sending the Chinese back to China. But Addie knows the newspaper story is not true; the railroad is in fact shipping them back to work the mines. In the end, it seems that Leung is reminding us that the stories - both personal and national - that endure are not necessarily the whole truth but simply a version of the storyteller's truth.

Reviewed by Donna Chavez

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in November 2010, and has been updated for the November 2011 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Chinese Immigration to the USA

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Waiting for an Echo
    Waiting for an Echo
    by Christine Montross
    Dr. Christine Montross had been a practicing psychiatrist for nearly a decade when she decided to ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Flight Portfolio
    by Julie Orringer
    At once a sweeping historical narrative, an insightful character study and a tender romance, Julie ...
  • Book Jacket: The Color of Air
    The Color of Air
    by Gail Tsukiyama
    Daniel was raised in Hilo, Hawaii by Japanese immigrant parents. Having traveled to the U.S. ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Volunteer
    by Jack Fairweather
    Though many found The Volunteer a challenging read, First Impressions responses were overwhelmingly ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    He Started It
    by Samantha Downing

    A new thriller from the twisted mind behind the mega hit My Lovely Wife.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Woman Before Wallis
    by Bryn Turnbull

    The true story of the American divorcée who captured the Prince's heart before Wallis.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri

This moving, intimate, and beautifully written novel puts human faces on the Syrian war.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Every Bone a Prayer

Every Bone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms

A beautifully honest exploration of healing and of hope.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Real M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.