Midnight at the Dragon Cafe

Midnight at the Dragon Cafe

Book - 2004
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Set in the 1960s, Judy Fong Bates¿s much-talked-about debut novel is the story of a young girl, the daughter of a small Ontario town¿s solitary Chinese family, whose life is changed over the course of one summer when she learns the burden of secrets. Through Su-Jen¿s eyes, the hard life behind the scenes at the Dragon Café unfolds. As Su-Jen¿s father works continually for a better future, her mother, a beautiful but embittered woman, settles uneasily into their new life. Su-Jen feels the weight of her mother¿s unhappiness as Su-Jen¿s life takes her outside the restaurant and far from the customs of the traditional past. When Su-Jen¿s half-brother arrives, smouldering under the responsibilities he must bear as the dutiful Chinese son, he forms an alliance with Su-Jen¿s mother, one that will have devastating consequences. Written in spare, intimate prose, Midnight at the Dragon Café is a vivid portrait of a childhood divided by two cultures and touched by unfulfilled longings and unspoken secrets.
Publisher: Toronto : M&S, c2004
ISBN: 9780771010989
0771010982
Branch Call Number: BAT
Characteristics: 315 p. ;,22 cm

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WVMLStaffPicks Jan 05, 2015

In this engaging debut novel the reader is drawn into the life of a young Chinese girl torn apart by dark family secrets and divided loyalties in a small Ontario town in the 1950's.

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dprodrig
Dec 05, 2012

A really good look at the realities of being an immigrant, in this case Chinese, and how they struggle to survive once they arrive. Book did a great job describing life in a small town, the realities of struggling to keep a business going and the importance of saving face & pride in Chinese culture. Although, the level of deception and tragedy was soap-opera-like in it's twists and turns. Worth reading.

LMOH Oct 04, 2011

A really interesting book about the immigrant experience in small-town Ontario.

m
marijancad
Sep 19, 2011

Very interesting.

d
doeraymee
Apr 26, 2011

I was surprised this was rated For Teens. The topics covered were very adult. Violent suicide, etc

Read_at_MarkhamPL Apr 10, 2011

Interesting story of the Chinese immigrant experience in Canada during the 1960s. The burden of saving face, keeping family secrets and obeying your elders are familiar themes for those who have read Chinese fiction. It wasn't as riveting as expected, considering it was chosen as the one book to read for Toronto this year. An interesting and fast read nonetheless.

c
christinegon
Mar 10, 2011

This book was a great read! It was easy to read and I really looked forward to reading it. It gave good insight into the Chinese culture and some of the difficulties faced in coming to a new culture and what it was like to feel like an outsider. I have already put holds on for the author's other books.

debwalker Mar 01, 2011

Selected by Toronto Public Library for the 2011 Keep Toronto Reading One Book program.

"Set in a small Ontario town in the 1960s, Fong Bates’ debut novel tells the story of a young Chinese girl and her family – the owners of the only Chinese restaurant in town.

"Written in spare, intimate prose, Midnight at the Dragon Café is a vivid portrait of a childhood divided by two cultures and touched by unfulfilled longings and unspoken secrets."

b
bg2
Dec 14, 2010

Engrossing tale of tragedies and survival. I couldn't put it down.

i
Iluv2read
Nov 27, 2010

Interesting story of a Chinese family in small town Ontario in the 1960s from a young Chinese girl's perspective.

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Christina_tee
Apr 10, 2011

Christina_tee thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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