diamond head book coverReviewed by Amanda Farmer

Diamond Head is the debut novel by Cecily Wong and it is a hard one for me to review. I may, however, be in the minority when it comes to how I felt about this book. I had trouble getting into the story and liking any of the characters. I found it extremely easy to put this book down and forget about it. I did manage to finish it with some difficulty. I found this book to be boring and dull, even though I really wanted to like it.

Diamond Head is a book that I wanted to like because it had such potential with characters tied to Hawaiian and Chinese backgrounds. Unfortunately, the narrative of the story kept flipping from past to present and from one point of view to another with transitions that were not smooth at all. I found the entire work to be very confusing; if Wong focused on one or two of the background stories, it could have been a great book. As it stand, the story was overly long and too wordy for my taste.

The book is about different Leong women and their lives traveling from China to Hawaii and making a living. It follows several different generations as well as an “ancient legend” that follows them. The book focuses on the Chinese legend of the red string of fate, which states that the red string binds one to her intended beloved, but will also punish for mistakes in love, twisting any missteps into a destructive knot that passes down through the generations. I found the legend to be somewhat interesting but it fell short due because of the way the book was written. There was entirely too much telling and not enough showing for readers.

The book does have secrets, love, loss, independence, and fate, so if you find that to be interesting with a dose of history thrown in, you will find this book to be right up your alley. Personally, I will probably not be picking up anymore of Wong’s books.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Amanda loves spending time at home with her husband and their dog, Oreo. She loves reading, playing puzzle games, beading and watching movies. When she’s not reading, she’s working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Harper. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.