Daughters of Shandong serves up a thought-provoking story that shines the light on how ingrained sexism was in China’s history.


The Description

Publication Date: May 7, 2024

A propulsive, extraordinary novel about a mother and her daughters’ harrowing escape to Taiwan as the Communist revolution sweeps through China, by debut author Eve J. Chung, based on her family story

Daughters are the Ang family’s curse.

In 1948, civil war ravages the Chinese countryside, but in rural Shandong, the wealthy, landowning Angs are more concerned with their lack of an heir. Hai is the eldest of four girls and spends her days looking after her sisters. Headstrong Di, who is just a year younger, learns to hide in plain sight, and their mother—abused by the family for failing to birth a boy—finds her own small acts of rebellion in the kitchen. As the Communist army closes in on their town, the rest of the prosperous household flees, leaving behind the girls and their mother because they view them as useless mouths to feed.

Without an Ang male to punish, the land-seizing cadres choose Hai, as the eldest child, to stand trial for her family’s crimes. She barely survives their brutality. Realizing the worst is yet to come, the women plan their escape. Starving and penniless but resourceful, they forge travel permits and embark on a thousand-mile journey to confront the family that abandoned them.

From the countryside to the bustling city of Qingdao, and onward to British Hong Kong and eventually Taiwan, they witness the changing tide of a nation and the plight of multitudes caught in the wake of revolution. But with the loss of their home and the life they’ve known also comes new freedom—to take hold of their fate, to shake free of the bonds of their gender, and to claim their own story.

Told in assured, evocative prose, with impeccably drawn characters, Daughters of Shandong is a hopeful, powerful story about the resilience of women in war; the enduring love between mothers, daughters, and sisters; and the sacrifices made to lift up future generations.The Review

Eleven-year-old Li-Hai knows her options are limited in a society that values males. However, she never expected her grandparents and father to abandon her, along with her mother and two sisters.

Set in the aftermath of the Chinese Civil War, Daughters of Shandong is a gripping tale brought to life by author Eve J. Chung.

While far from being rich, the Ang family is set apart because of land ownership. However, the grandmother is exceptionally cruel to her daughter-in-law because all the children have been female. During the 1940s, chromosomal education hadn’t yet pointed the finger in the proper direction.

As civil unrest takes a turn with the spread of communism, the grandparents and father flee, leaving the four females behind. Rather than being able to stay in their home, they are forced out by the Communists.

What ensues is a story of perseverance in light of hunger, homelessness, and constant danger. They travel to Qingdao in hopes of reuniting with the family, only to receive word the Angs have gone to Taiwan.

Li-Hai traces the journey from Qingdao to Hong Kong, eventually reaching Taiwan. It is a rich story that emphasizes the determination of Li-Hai’s mother to create a better life for her girls.

Daughters of Shandong serves up a thought-provoking story that shines the light on how ingrained sexism was in China’s history.Buy Links

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About The AuthorEve J. Chung is a Taiwanese American human rights lawyer focusing on gender equality and women’s rights. She lives in New York with her husband, two children, and two dogs.



Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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Daughters of Shandong serves up a thought-provoking story that shines the light on how ingrained sexism was in China’s history.5-STAR REVIEW: DAUGHTERS OF SHANDONG by Eve J. Chung