A sweeping debut spanning from China to Hawaii that follows four generations of a wealthy shipping family whose rise and decline is riddled with secrets and tragic love—from a young, powerful new voice in fiction.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Frank Leong, a fabulously wealthy shipping industrialist, moves his family from China to the island of Oahu. But something ancient follows the Leongs to Hawaii, haunting them. The parable of the red string of fate, the cord that binds one intended beloved to her perfect match, also punishes for mistakes in love, passing a destructive knot down the family line.
When Frank Leong is murdered, his family is thrown into a perilous downward spiral. Left to rebuild in their patriarch’s shadow, the surviving members of the Leong family try their hand at a new, ordinary life, vowing to bury their gilded past. Still, the island continues to whisper—fragmented pieces of truth and chatter, until a letter arrives two decades later, carrying a confession that shatters the family even further.
Now the Leongs’ survival rests with young Theresa, Frank Leong’s only grandchild, eighteen and pregnant, the heir apparent to her ancestors’ punishing knots.
Told through the eyes of the Leong’s secret-keeping daughters and wives and spanning The Boxer Rebellion to Pearl Harbor to 1960s Hawaii, Diamond Head is a breathtakingly powerful tale of tragic love, shocking lies, poignant compromise, aching loss, heroic acts of sacrifice and, miraculous hope.
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“A jewel of a saga.”—Rebecca Wells, author of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Frank Leong, a prominent shipping industrialist and head of the celebrated Leong family, brings his loved ones from China to Hawaii at the turn of the twentieth century, when the Japanese invade. But something ancient follows the Leongs to the islands, haunting them—the parable of the red string of fate. According to Chinese legend, the red string binds one to her intended beloved, but also punishes for mistakes in love, twisting any misstep into a destructive knot that passes down through generations.
When its patriarch is murdered on Oahu, the Leong family is thrown into a downward spiral. Left to rebuild in his shadow, the surviving members attempt a new, ordinary life, vowing to bury their gilded past—until a letter arrives two decades later, carrying a confession that shatters the family even further.
Now the Leongs’ survival rests with young Theresa, Frank’s only grandchild. Eighteen and pregnant, Theresa holds the answers to her family’s mysteries and must decide what stories to tell, with whom to side, and which knots will endure.
Told through the eyes of the Leongs’ secret-keeping daughters and wives, Diamond Head is a breathtakingly powerful multigenerational tale.
“Diamond Head is an intricate meditation on what is in our control and what is fate—and on whether children must bear the costs of their parents’ mistakes.”—Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You
“Wong’s debut novel will hook readers from the first page and not let go until the final tragic secret is revealed.”—Library JournalAbout the Author:
Cecily Wong’s work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, Self magazine, Bustle, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of Barnard College, and lives and writes in New York.
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