Based on true events, The Paper Daughters of Chinatown in a powerful story about a largely unknown chapter in history and the women who emerged as heroes.
Read the full review below:
“During the 1800s, many Chinese immigrants in California worked for gold mining companies or the railroads and sent money home to their families. Prostitution proliferated in this mostly male society, aided by a loophole in the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act that led to the trafficking of young Chinese women. These “paper daughters” were given false paperwork asserting that they were married or related to a Chinese man working in the U.S.; when they arrived, they were sold into slavery as prostitutes. In San Francisco, the Occidental Mission Home was established to provide refuge and education for these women. Donaldina “Dolly” Cameron was originally hired to teach sewing for a year, but she ended up staying for almost four decades, mostly serving as superintendent. Moore focuses her extensively researched historical novel on Dolly’s first 13 years at the home as she evolves from an ambivalent outsider to a passionate advocate leading dangerous raids, testifying in court, and rescuing more than 3,000 trafficked women. Dolly’s story unfolds alongside, and ultimately merges with, that of Mei Lien, a paper daughter who leaves her impoverished mother for what she believes is an arranged marriage in America, but upon arrival is enslaved. Recommend to fans of compelling, character-driven historical fiction inspired by true events, such as Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours (2017). YAs will be drawn to the dramatic stories of the young Chinese women brought to America.”
-Booklist, starred review
The Paper Daughters of Chinatown is available wherever books are sold September 1, 2020.