The Only Girl in China by Eric Qiao
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (348 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe
Adoptee Ed Li is on a mission to find his missing sister. An elaborate plan is devised that involves him teaching in a rural Chinese village, which Ed soon discovers it isn’t his idea of a good time. In fact, when he sees a chance to quit, he takes it. But just before he can get out of Dodge, a local girl is murdered. Suspect? That Chinese teacher from America: Ed. With the help of his female colleague, Ed sets out to clear his name, uncovering a web of deceit in a village that’s on the verge of becoming a lucrative jade mine. The deeper he digs, the more horrors he unearths. With memories of his sister drawing uncanny parallels to the victim’s life, possibility of redemption and revenge looms.
Ed is Chinese and was adopted and raised by an American couple. He’s content with his life and has a trust fund to support him but he wonders about the sister that stayed behind when he was removed from the orphanage. Whatever happened to her?
China is overpopulated. They can have only one child. When that child is a girl, they often abandon them somewhere they might be found and taken in. If you can only have one child, they want a boy. This book looks at the way women are treated, the options they have to support themselves and the men who take advantage of them. It is based on facts even if this is fiction. Mr. Qiao writes a very sobering read of a place that has a history of mistreating women.
Ed hires a private investigator. He tells him the orphanage has been shut down and all the papers lost. No one knows what became of the children staying there. But Ed is determined to find her so he volunteers to go to China as a teacher in a small village as part of a UNICEF program. He won’t be paid but he will get some publicity and he’s hoping his sister will see it.
The story begins with hope, there’s a murder that Ed is accused of, and nothing happens in China without bribes. The backwoods villages have a shortage of women available for marriage so any woman there that has no one to protect or provide for her gets abused. It’s a sad story but Ed does get some justice for the mistreated women.
This look at China is like a visit to the areas they don’t want you to see. There is plenty of non-fiction out there to support Mr. Qiao story. Reading this will make you very happy you live in the US. The story reads smoothly, draws you in and pricks your interest. Just don’t let it give you nightmares.