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The Lost Daughter of Happiness




The Lost Daughter of Happiness

Author: Geling Yan (translated by Cathy Silber)


Who would have thought that I’d stumble upon a book on sale that’s way too awesome for a hundred bucks..


The Lost Daughter of Happiness by Geling Yan / Cathy Silber



I’ve read countless of romance historical novels that ended up the way I’ve expected (Meeting — Romance — Conflict — Reconciliation — Happily Ever After). But this book is different. It’s about a unique and tragic love triangle story that took place during San Francisco’s Gold Rush Era – where the clash of two races, the Americans & the Chinese, was inevitable.

Fusang who is of Chinese origin, is an amiable girl.. Innocent and all.. But was later forced to become a prostitute in a foreign land. One of the Johns (Americans) named Chris sees her at a brothel and fell in love with her effortless charms. Now here comes Da Yong, a notorious Chinese who never leaves his house without his precious daggers, and longs for his supposed-to-be “wife” whom he never laid eyes on. The three have gone through a roller coaster of confusion – in society, in the name of honor, and in love.


What I loved about the style the writer applied in this novel is the way she showed the readers two point of views of a scene.

I love poetry. And this book never failed me.

In the end, Da Yong turned out to be the intended husband for Fusang before she was kidnapped and transported to be a prostitute. Chris and Fusang after many years of not seeing each other, met again.. Then took separate paths and left the past as it was – a bittersweet memory.


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Personal Thoughts on Fusang:

Fusang has a very interesting personality. Even when she’s badly beaten up by men or when she’s hurt emotionally, she only smiles. She’s not a hypocrite – she just can’t help it. I also find her weird because she rarely speaks. She spends her time smiling or nodding at anybody who demands an answer. Her head might be empty ’cause she was never educated, but her pure modesty surpasses all her limitations.

Sometimes I get annoyed when Fusang never ever resists and never complains. I just can’t stomach some parts in the novel where she just stood there, doing nothing instead of fighting for her right.

Pity. I pity her for what she cannot do to save herself. But the more I pitied her the more I get to envy her. She still smiles in spite & despite of everything that’s happened to her life. If I were in her shoes I should’ve gone insane.

Truly she’s the lost daughter of happiness. Her inner peace won’t let anyone ruin her as a human being.

Hence, a lesson I’ve learned to love: If you can’t find peace anywhere in this world, find it within yourself.




Photo Credits:



Published: 2009-03-10 22:44:00

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