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  • Writer's pictureNeighborhood Reads

Maria's Pick: "The Many Daughters of Afong Moy" by Jamie Ford

I found this book fascinating as it addressed the topic of generational trauma, a concept that I have only heard about in the past few years.

Set in 2045, Dorothy Moy has had bouts with mental illness and dissociative episodes her whole life. She eventually decides to go to a doctor whose experimental approach involves epigenetics, the study of how behavior and environment, including trauma, can cause changes to the way later generations’ genes work.

Through Dorothy’s visions and hallucinations, we are introduced to seven generations of her ancestors, beginning with Afong Moy, in 1835. Afong was thought to be the first Chinese woman known to immigrate to the United States and through a series of unfortunate circumstances, spent many years being exhibited as a sideshow in a circus, separated from her true love.

The story weaves in and out of the seven generations of women and the reader can feel the relationships between mothers and daughters, each struggling with lost love and the trauma of their times.

It was an engaging and creative read that deals well with a subject that is very thought provoking.

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