America. In the twilight of the Gold Rush, two siblings cross a landscape with a gun in their hands and the body of their father on their backs . . .
Ba dies in the night, Ma is already gone. Lucy and Sam, twelve and eleven, are suddenly alone and on the run. With their father’s body on their backs, they roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with giant buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial.
How Much of These Hills is Gold is a sweeping adventure tale, an unforgettable sibling story and a remarkable novel about a family bound and divided by its memories.
Being Chinese living in London, I rarely come across books written by Chinese about Chinese people. How Much of These Hills is Gold is such a shock to my system that I have really really struggle to write this review. There are so much I want to say but I don’t know how and where to begin. Chinese immigrants’ hardship during gold rush in America in the 19th century is a history that I know nothing about, nothing.
Do I struggle to write it because this book to me is absolutely phenomenal, one of the best books I have ever read that I don’t think my words can do its justice? Do I struggle to write it because it hurts to read about the deprivation and hardships my people went through at the time? Do I struggle to write it because this book is so more more than just a story? It is history to me. It is the cry of people from the past urging us finally to tell their story, urging us to finally listen.
How much of these hills is hope? How much of these hills is love? How much of these hills is longing and belonging? How much of these hills is sweat and blood? How much of these hills is lost father and mother? How much of these hills is lost brothers and sisters? How much of these hills is gold?
What makes a father a father? What makes a mother a mother? What makes a daughter a daughter? What makes a sister a sister? And finally what makes a home a home?
Bold and utterly remarkable. I love this with all my heart. Please pick it up and read it.
Thank you so much Virago Press for this beautiful copy.