A book to devour. Malinda Lo's latest YA Historical Romance should be at the top of every YA readers TBR this year.
Despite being about a culture, time and place I have never experienced, or will experience, this novel resonated with me deeply, as I am sure it will for many readers. From its beautiful, hard won, delicately built love story to its fundamental understanding of people and it's sharp examination of racial and sexual isms this novel will strike a cord with every reader. Once started Lo hooks the reader into this eye opening view of the recent past. Resoundingly important at this time, this historic exploration shows how far we have come while highlighting how far we still have to go. Lo, through the fictionalization of her strikingly realistic characters, shines a light on the stories of Asian American women who have been left out of the history books. She opens a window onto a pocket of the past and a cultural world which many of us have never explored and through her careful and studied consideration of real world history will teach readers about this little known time. Through the much appreciated time lines scattered throughout the book, plus some well placed character switches, Lo brings into our understanding the real state of America during the early 1950's and through her characters shows how the politics of the time actively affected the people living in this part of the world.
From the blurb;
'Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miler walked under the flashing neon sigh of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.
'America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father - despite his hard-won citizenship - Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.' Changing the way many of us will look at historical YA romance novels Last Night At The Telegraph Club is annihilating in it's clear cut, truthful, and real world story. No reader is truly prepared for the journey these characters embark on, or the lessons Lo is about to teach them on this white washed aspect of our past. While the historical aspects of this novel are eye opening the love story, beautifully and patiently written, will ring a bell for many readers. So many of us will gain that eye opening moment, like Lily with the picture of Tommy Andrews, from reading this novel, while others will feel the unrelenting truth of young love through the characters journey and may find themselves resonating with that love and their own experiences.
We give Last Night At The Telegraph Club Five Stars
ISBN - 978-1-529-36658-7 Cover price - £7.99 Available as an eBook
Published by Hodder & Stoughton