Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Paper Daughter by Jeanette Ingold

"Paper Daughter" by Jeanette Ingold. Maggie's father died in a hit-and-run accident, and it made her determined to follow in his footsteps and become a journalist. As she interns at her local newspaper, the truth about her father and his past that she's never doubted is collapsing. Maggie grows bolder and sets out on a quest to discover her ancestry and clear her father's name as she uncovers a local scandal. Intercut with Maggie's story are chapters following the story of Fai-Yi Li in the 1930s, who illegally escaped to America as a "paper son" with his sister, Sucheng, because she killed a man. In the end, it is revealed that Fai-Yi Lin is actually her great-grandfather.

"Paper Daughter" is a good enough book, but not spectacular. Maggie didn't show very much emotion at her father's death and, because of that, I couldn't feel like I was looking through her eyes. I also was confused by the ending. It was cookie-cutter precise -- Maggie got better at her job, her father's name was cleared, the scandal was exposed, and she found out who her ancestors were -- except for Sucheng Li. She never received any justice for the murder that she had committed, except for living in "a shadow world of madness." That does not make sense to me -- Maggie's father is killed trying to expose the truth and she gets to walk?

However, I did like how Maggie grew stronger throughout the novel by exposing her family's past instead of closing her eyes. Accepting a paper-thin lie instead of the truth made her stronger, and we all can learn from that.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Seaside, Oregon United States of America

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