Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Jade Moon is a Fire Horse -- the worst sign in the Chinese zodiac for girls, said to make them stubborn, willful, and far too imaginative. But while her family despairs of marrying her off, she has a passionate heart and powerful dreams, and wants only to find a way to make them come true.
Then a young man named Sterling Promise comes to their village to offer Jade Moon and her father a chance to go to America. While Sterling Promise's smooth manners couldn't be more different from her own impulsive nature, Jade Moon falls in love with him on the long voyage. But America in 1923 doesn't want to admit many Chinese, and when they are detained at Angel Island, the "Ellis Island of the West," she discovers a betrayal that destroys all her dreams. To get into America, much less survive there, Jade Moon will have to use all her stubbornness and will to break a new path . . . one as brave and dangerous as only a Fire Horse girl can imagine.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I requested this ARC from Netgalley. What I discovered was a rich historical fiction novel on Chinese immigration into America in the early 20's. Wow. I can honestly say that I have not read any other book like The Fire Horse Girl before. I almost immediately connected to Jade Moon. Not understood, not willing to compromise herself, Jade Moon makes her own path in life, determined to find herself, no matter the cost. Jade Moon is fierce, intelligent, kind, and persistent. What more could you want out of a main character?! Sterling Promise and Harry both make great supporting characters in their own way. At times I would cheer on Sterling Promise, and other times Harry. What was most upsetting to me was Jade Moon's relationship with her father. Her father seemed to be a very unhappy person, which spilled out into his relationship with his daughter. I know that Chinese women are treated differently than American women, especially in the 1920's, but the disconnect in their relationship was saddening. I just adored the zodiac references and the brief glimpse into Chinese history, those were my favorite elements of The Fire Horse Girl. Overall, a fantastic piece of historical fiction!
Thanks to Scholastic Inc. for this copy
Published January 1st 2013
This is my honest review.
Cover Art Commentary:
I just love the cover of this book. The bold backdrop with the opposing characters is just eye-catching! Their clothing adds an old world/new world touch.