Diamond Head: A Novel by Cecily Wong

Diamond Head

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

In a nutshell, Diamond Head is the story of the Leong family spanning several generations from the odd circumstances surrounding Frank Leong’s birth in China to his family struggling to put their lives back together after his murder in Hawaii in the 1960’s. Frank Leong became wealthy by building a shipping empire-a business he built by frequently going against what his family traditions would have dictated. Later, he leaves China for Oahu, hoping his port business is not the only thing he has left behind in China. For readers who are drawn to multigenerational stories of families’ secrets and triumphs that in itself would be enough.

But Diamond Head goes way beyond the usual family drama. Very early on readers learn that Frank Leong’s birth right is not maybe what it seems. His mother unable to carry a child to term, sends Frank’s father to a concubine in order to have a son. After Frank is born his birthmother’s life is cut short and she is never spoken of again. It is like she never existed. That is the first of several family secrets the Leong family has that come back to haunt the later generations of the Leong family.

Tying the entire book together, through all of the various voices we hear from the Leong family women is the ancient Chinese belief in the “Red String of destiny” which is thought to tie the souls of true loves together. The legend goes that people can stray from their intended, but each breach creates a knot in the string that is passed down through the generations.

While the story is told through several voices, readers are primarily left with eighteen year old pregnant (and unwed) Theresa Leong to sort out the history and future of the Leong family. If a reader keeps the Red String in mind while reading, it soon becomes clear that the cumulative knots from her elders are going to be a very heavy burden for young Theresa to deal with.

The book starts a little bit slow while the characters are sorted out for the readers and we get a general feel for what is at stake. After the first few chapters the book becomes one that is nearly impossible to put down, making it a perfect vacation book or book for a rainy weekend.

Click Here to Purchase Diamond Head: A Novel


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