After reading this novel, your perspective on history & the Chinese will be drasticly altered.
During a trans-Pacific voyage in 1880, a friendship develops between a Chinese merchant, Dai Woo Cheung, and a Rabbi, Nathan Belihis, whose daughter, Louisa befriends Cheung’s son, Wing.
Their destination is Victoria on Vancouver Island, where Cheung owns a store and where Nathan has been appointed the new Rabbi for the local synagogue.
Below the passenger deck in steerage is the first cargo of Chinese laborers, hired to help build the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Louisa has grown up in China where her father has served as a Rabbi in a Jewish community in China. Discriminated by the other children on board, Wing & Louisa are constantly harassed by their peers.
Louisa attracts the attention of a crew member who assaults her, then throws her overboard. After Wing saves her life, Louisa becomes infatuated with him.
An anti-Chinese mob protesting the arrival of Chinese railway laborers, greets the ship upon arrival. Father & son suffer minor injuries. The next day, they rescue their store manager from jail.
Hoping to do some business with the CPR, Cheung decides to travel to their regional headquarters in Yale By chance, Cheung meets, Way, the nephew of an old friend in New Westminster.
When his son is kidnapped by labor contractors, Cheung joins the CPR to search for Wing, His search is interrupted temporarily when he journeys to San Francisco with Way, to fulfill a secret mission.
They rendezvous with Yuen, Way's uncle, Cheung's old comrade who shared his first visit to Gold Mountain. Yuen is detained by the US Immigration Authority but later rescued from their internment facility with the help of Ti Chu, the most powerful man in San Francisco's Chinatown.
As they travel north, Cheung & Yuen reminisce about their first voyage from China & their experiences during the 1849 California Gold Rush. Along their journey, the trio meet many new friends who relate their personal experiences and present many overlooked aspects of American history.
Once the mission has ended, the trio become involved with a Tong War in San Francisco. When the war is resolved, Cheung returns to Canada to rescue his son, who has been forced by the CPR to participate in a hazardous assignment at Hells Gate.
Louisa & Wing are reunited, but will their youthful relationship endure?Or will Louisa & Wing bow to parental pressure and conform to the dictates of society?