This is one of my favorite types of novels - one where you get a good dose of historical fact about places you've never been to and cultures you are unfamiliar with. Educational reading wrapped around a good plot. You learn more about the world without working at it.
April 14, 2015
Frank Leong, a prominent shipping industrialist and head of the celebrated Leong family, brings his loved ones from China to Hawaii at the turn of the twentieth century, abandoning his interests at the Port of Tsingtao when the Japanese invade.
But something ancient follows the Leongs to the islands, haunting them – the parable of the red string of fate. According to Chinese legend, the red string – the cord which binds one intended beloved to her perfect match – also punishes for mistakes in love, twisting each misstep into a destructive knot that passes down the family line. When Frank Leong is murdered on Oahu, his family is thrown into a perilous downward spiral.
Left to rebuild in their patriarch’s shadow, the surviving members of the Leong family attempt a new, ordinary life, vowing to bury their gilded past. Still, the island continues to whisper—fragmented pieces of truth and chatter, until a letter arrives two decades later, carrying a confession that shatters the family even further. Now the Leongs' survival rests with young Theresa, Frank Leong’s only grandchild. Eighteen and pregnant, Theresa holds the answers to her family’s mysteries, left to carry the burden of their mistakes.
On the day of her father’s funeral, as the Leongs gather to mourn the loss of their first born son, Theresa must decide what stories to tell, who to side with, and which knots will endure for another generation.
Told through the eyes of the Leongs' secret-keeping daughters and wives and spanning The Boxer Rebellion to Pearl Harbor to 1960s Hawaii, Diamond Head is an exploration of whether or not there’s such a thing as a legacy of the heart. Passionate and devastating, it is filled with love, lies, loss, and, most astounding of all – hope.