Bright Moon RidgeeBook - 2016
Bright Moon Ridge is a riveting, highly original novel, which will appeal to most readers because of its central focus: a young man's search for his missing parents and his longing to establish himself in a family he never had. The story begins in Santa Cruz, California, in 1999 when 19-year-old Johnny Bartooth is unexpectedly visited by Heron, an ageing hippy, his father's old friend. Heron has come from Australia to visit Johnny's Aunt Belle, who has brought Johnny up from the time he was a baby. Heron has also come to give Johnny a journal which the boy's father, Bartooth, wrote many years before. In 1978 Bartooth went to China, and one night made the fateful mistake of going for a walk by himself through dark streets in Guangzhou. He was attacked, stabbed and clubbed by a gang of bandits. He found himself a few days later in a hospital bed, coming out of a coma. In front of him was a beautiful Chinese doctor, Mei, who had been born in San Francisco and could speak English. There was an immediate strong attraction between Bartooth and Mei, who was married to, but separated from, her husband in North-eastern China. They talked whenever they could, and soon fell in love. When Bartooth could walk again, he sneaked into Mei's apartment several times and they were lovers. Bartooth had to return to Hong Kong, where he had been living and working. He promised Mei that he would arrange for her to go to the USA, where they could marry. In Hong Kong Bartooth learned through a letter that Mei was pregnant. Because of the complicated circumstances, he devised a plan to smuggle Mei and the newborn baby out of China. He would obtain a forged passport for Mei, then go to Guangzhou and pass it to her. She would go straight to Hong Kong and wait. Before leaving, Mei would give the baby to Bartooth in his hotel room, and there another Chinese-American woman, whom Bartooth would pay to pose as his wife, would pretend to give birth to the baby, so they could get documentation for the baby to travel to the United States. Part of the plan went well, but Mei never turned up in Hong Kong. After waiting for weeks, Bartooth brought Johnny to his sister Belle, in Santa Cruz, and returned to China to search for Mei and bring her back to the U.S. No one heard from him or Mei after that. So when Heron arrives, Johnny has been living with his Aunt Belle for 19 years. Receiving his father's journal opens up a deep curiosity in Johnny about his father and mother. Belle is able to add more details to the incredible tale. At the end of Book 1 Johnny resolves that he must go to China and search for his parents who disappeared 19 years before. In Book 2 Johnny uncovers more details about Bartooth and Mei from several people who were involved with them. He goes to China and, with very little to go on, tries to track down his mother and father. Besides the story of Johnny's investigations, travels and romance with an attractive Chinese student, Book 2 tells the disturbing stories of Mei's arrest and imprisonment, of her terrible life in a Chinese prison, of her sentence to live and work in harsh conditions amongst the primitive, impoverished Li minority people of Hainan Island. Johnny experiences first-hand the fascinating Li culture and way of life. Book 2 completes the story of Bartooth and Mei, with episodes that are joyful, thrilling and tragic - such as being forced to wander through the perilous white-men-keep-out" slum of Kowloon Walled City in order to buy opium; or running from Chinese soldiers and hiding for weeks in a mountain forest; or the colorful wedding ceremony in the Li village; or the vicious knife fight with smugglers on an isolated Hainan beach.
Publisher: [United States] : BookBaby : Made available through hoopla, 2016.
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource