The story is set in Wellington,New Zealand, from the late nineteenth century to the 1920's. Some chapters dash back to China to give background to the Chinese characters.
The writing is clear and the language handled in such a way that it's very easy to see the characters and the Wellington described.
The main character is Katherine, recently widowed. At a time when women were challenging traditional female roles in society, she begins a clandestine relationship with the local Chinese grocer,Yung.
She is employed by Mrs Newton, who is an advocate for women's rights and civil rights in general and is a colourful, assertive character who brings change into Katherine's life and opens a whole different set of opportunities for Edie, Katherine's daughter.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading As the Earth Turns Silver and count it as one of the better reads of the year!
Alison Wong is a New Zealand poet and this is her first novel. She has drawn heavily on her family's history both in New Zealand and in China for this story which gives it authenticity and great feeling for the characters.
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