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This is a singular, almost unbelievable, story; a Chinese boy is taken by his benefactress to 1800s America to become a missionary, but gets tricked into slavery, escapes and joins the Union Army in the Civil War. It's one of those "against all odds" stories that make you wonder at the resiliency of the human spirit. I was quickly invested in the fate of Ah Yee Way.
Ruthanne McCunn has a stripped-down writing style that makes the action sound like it's being reported rather than made up. James Chen's narration gives brilliant life to the words, his differing characters, accents and voices, create a 3-D world in your ears. Together, you get a harrowing, and vivid experience.
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