FREELANCE WRITER providing quality service since 1995 - ANGIE MANGINO  journalist / book reviewer




The Nine Fold Heaven
By Mingmei Yip
2013
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating:  4 stars
 
“When a person is not ready, she should be like the dragon who does not act.  Not until the right moment arrives, then she’ll soar to the nine fold heaven, looking down on the ordinary as she enjoys her long-awaited success and glory.”
 
Will Camilla ever reach the nine fold heaven? 
 
Leading a deceptive life, Camilla was a singer in Shanghai, better remembered as The Heavenly Song Bird.  She additionally was a spy on gangster boss, Master Lung, in the service of the gang leader, Big Brother Wang.  Wang took Camilla, an orphan since she was four in the compassionate Grace Orphanage, from the orphanage to train her to do his bidding.
 
Readers meet 20 year-old Camilla in escaped safety in Hong Kong, three months after taking Master Lung’s money during a gang shootout at his villa.  She decides to return to Shanghai, torn with love, to find Jinying and their son, Jinjin.
 
The setting is Shanghai and Hong Kong in the 1930’s, a corrupt time in its history, plagued with the radical disparity between the rich and the poor.  Dialogue is authentic to both the area and the status of each of the characters, who are well defined and most believable.
 
Interspersed with quotes from poems, this story will speak to readers with an authentic cultural voice, and immerse them into the story, the time, and the region.

It’s a fascinating experience!