Esmé Weijun Wang

The Border of Paradise

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In booming postwar Brooklyn, the Nowak Piano Company is an American success story. There is just one problem: the Nowak’s only son, David. A handsome kid and shy like his mother, David struggles with neuroses. If not for his only friend, Marianne, David’s life would be intolerable. When David inherits the piano company at just 18 and Marianne breaks things off, David sells the company and travels around the world. In Taiwan, his life changes when he meets the daughter of a local madame — the sharp-tongued, intelligent Daisy. Returning to the United States, the couple (and newborn son) buy an isolated country house in Northern California’s Polk Valley. As David's health deteriorates, he has a brief affair with Marianne, producing a daughter.It’s Daisy's solution for the future of her two children, inspired by the old Chinese tradition of raising girls as sisterly wives for adoptive brothers, that exposes Daisy’s traumatic life, and the terrible inheritance her children must receive. Framed by two suicide attempts, The Border of Paradise is told from multiple perspectives, culminating in heartrending fashion as the young heirs to the Nowak fortune confront their past and their isolation.
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392 printed pages
Original publication
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    Xoch Rodríguez Q.shared an impression3 years ago
    👍Worth reading
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    Xoch Rodríguez Q.has quoted3 years ago
    don’t want to cry again. I am so tired of my own pain.
    Xoch Rodríguez Q.has quoted3 years ago
    in my look I’m now stronger than I’ve ever been before because I am a part of something bigger than myself. I am the whole world stuffed into one girl’s body. I have oceans for blood and skies for eyes.
    Xoch Rodríguez Q.has quoted3 years ago
    Eventually I was functioning again, but what had happened to my mind left me hobbled, as if I’d been hit by a car instead, and with poor healing to show for it.

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