September 26, 2016 by Zoë
In Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee, Mercy is determined to move beyond her Chinatown roots and to create a better life for her family. To do this, she tricks her way into St. Clare’s School for Girls, a prestigious school in San Fransisco. Before she has had a chance to truly settle into the school, a disastrous earthquake hits the city. With their world turned upside down, what will the girls do now?
I couldn’t really get into Stacey Lee’s Under a Painted Sky, but I really enjoyed this second novel of hers. Even though everything was just slightly idealistic, I really liked Mercy’s spunk. Also, obviously, I’m excited to read about Chinese American characters, and especially Chinese American characters in a historical setting. I appreciated how Mercy’s family’s immigration story was woven into the novel as a whole and how being a first generation American was definitely part of Mercy’s character.
As I said, this book is somewhat idealistic. Mercy has a generally happy life despite the poverty and racism she faces. Her parents also have decidedly modern-facing values, which is nice to see (and especially nice for Mercy), but sometimes struck me as unrealistic.
Despite the occasional forays into the somewhat unbelievable, overall I found this book really enjoyable. It is entertaining and also serves to illustrate a period of time and a group of people that aren’t written about very frequently.
“For a moment, I forget that I’m the one from China.”