Gum Moon: A Novel of San Francisco Chinatown
Based upon events in the life of the author's wife's grandmother, Gum Moon (Cantonese for "Gold Door" or "Golden Gate") is an award-winning novel in Writer's Digest's 2019 self-published competition. An Honorable Mention in the Mainstream/Literary Fiction category, Gum Moon is the remarkable coming of age story of a Chinese-American girl, Mei Chun Lai, who is sold in 1898 at the age of three to a cruel brothel keeper. A sympathetic prostitute befriends Chun, but during a plague quarantine, Chun is thrust into a bewildering new world when she is rescued by a friend of Donaldina Cameron and placed in a Home for abused and trafficked girls. The Home is destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, but Chun (aka "Maud") survives. In an attempt to raise funds to rebuild the Home, Maud and a group of seven other Chinese children embark on a cross-country singing tour. Performing for President Theodore Roosevelt is the highlight of the journey, but when the matron of the Home suffers a breakdown, thirteen year-old Maud must find within herself the strength and resolve to lead the band of children home.
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