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Take Me Home by Brian Leung
Take Me Home is a historical novel about the clash between Chinese workers brought in by the Union Pacific to work in coal mines in Wyoming and the white workers who become convinced they are taking jobs from them and eventually rise up to run out the heathen Chinamen The author does a good job of letting us know how ignorance can create fear. Prejudice against the Chinese workers is fueled by the belief that they are subhuman with yellow skin, have tails, and dress strangely. The white workers are, for the most part uneducated and poor, so easily taken advantage of. So why give this book only a 3 when all of the above suggests it should be stronger? The 3 represents, for me, a poorly structured book that jumps between the late 19th and early 20th centuries and does a poor job of character development so that it is difficult to care about the characters. I just couldn't get involved in what should have been a riveting story. It does, however, show readers the prejudice that existed toward people who are so different from the majority race even when many of them are also immigrants who cannot speak English. So, a book that should have been riveting never quite gets there.