The Fire Horse Girl
By Kay Honeyman
(Arthur A. Levine Books, Hardcover, 9780545403108, 336pp.)
Publication Date: January 2013
A fiery and romantic adventure, perfect for fans of Grace Lin, Kristen Cashore, or Lisa See!
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.
Kay Honeyman became fascinated with the topic of Chinese immigration after she and her husband adopted a son from China in 2009. THE FIRE HORSE GIRL is her first novel. Kay teaches eighth-grade English in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her family. Please visit her website at www.kayhoneyman.com.
"Seventeen-year-old Jade Moon was born in 1906, the year of the Fire Horse, an ominous sign for Chinese girls. It signals willfulness, stubbornness, and impetuousness, all characteristics that embarrass her father and grandfather and cause derision and cruelty by her too small village. So when Sterling Promise, a long- lost adopted cousin, appears and proposes a plan to immigrate to America using false “paper son” papers, Jade Moon and her father agree. Jade Moon views this offer as escape and freedom; her father as the only opportunity to marry off his undesirable daughter. The interminable boat ride—and even more onerous imprisonment off California’s Angel Island—finally transition to her treacherous entry into America. Jade Moon’s disguise as a young man and her homelessness pave the way for her involvement with the tong, a Chinese organized crime syndicate, and breath-taking danger at every turn. First-time author Honeyman has researched the history of Angel Island and early twentieth century San Francisco carefully, yet the ultimate strength of this story is in her character Jade Moon. Her voice, authentic and consistent, transcends this historical fiction/adventure/love story to embrace every young woman who has ever searched for the real person hidden under the veneer of society’s expectations." - Frances Bradburn, Booklist starred review