Paper Wife



Paper WifeSouthern China, Desperate To Secure Her Future, Mei Ling S Parents Arrange A Marriage To A Widower In California To Enter The Country, She Must Pretend To Be Her Husband S First Wife A Paper WifeOn The Perilous Voyage, Mei Ling Takes An Orphan Girl Named Siew Under Her Wing Dreams Of A Better Life In America Give Mei Ling The Strength To Endure The Treacherous Journey And Detainment On Angel Island But When She Finally Reaches San Francisco, She S Met With A Surprise Her Husband, Chinn Kai Li, Is A Houseboy, Not The Successful Merchant He Led Her To BelieveMei Ling Is Penniless, Pregnant, And Bound To A Man She Doesn T Know Her Fragile Marriage Is Tested Further When She Discovers That Siew Will Likely Be Forced Into Prostitution Desperate To Rescue Siew, She Must Convince Her Husband That An Orphan S Life Is Worth Fighting For Can Mei Ling Find A Way To Make A Real Family Even If It S Built On A Paper Foundation

My education and experience in multiracial, developmental psychology and attachment theory provide ample fodder for my novels My passion for early childhood education, child birth and religious education are reflected in my writing.I was the founder and director of Woolsey Children s School where I had first hand experience loving children that were not my own There are scenes in Yellow Crocus that were largely influenced interactions I had with children from Woolsey.As a birth doula I had the privilege of witnessing the intensity and joy of childbirth You can see that my birth experiences are reflected in my novels Spiritual themes that cross over multiple religious traditions come directly from working as the Director of Children and Family Ministries at the First Unitarian Church in Oakland I live in a small co housing community in Berkeley, California, with my wonderful wife, Rinda, our amazing children, Kalin and Maya, and our crazy dogs, Bella and Lucie I m very grateful to be a full time writer starting in 2015.I was surprised when the writing bug bit me The idea for the story came to me in 1998, I was with a group of people talking about Tiger Woods Someone mentioned that he identifies as much as an Asian person as an African American person I thought to myself, Of course he does, his mother is Asian You form your core identity in relationship to your primary caregivers It s a basic part of the attachment process Then the image of Lisbeth, a white baby, breastfeeding in the loving arms of Mattie, an enslaved wetnurse came to me in a flash I thought about what it would be like for Lisbeth to dearly love Mattie and then be taught by society that she wasn t a full person I wondered how it would feel for Mattie to be forced to abandon Samuel, her own child, in the slave Quarters Then I imagined what the experience would be like for Miss Anne, the birth mother, to have her own child twist away from her to get into Mattie s arms These characters started to haunt me Various scenes popped into my head Though I had never written anything, I was being called to tell this story For my fortieth birthday, I began the personal marathon of writing my first novel I hope you will come to love these characters as much as I have.At face value Living Right seems like a big leap from Yellow Crocus, but it deals with the same themes a caregiver loving across a huge societal barrier.I LOVED returning to Mattie, Lisbeth and Jordan for Mustard Seed The story of finding faith in hopeless times really resonates for me I plan to return to their families ongoing journey after I finish my current novel Paper Wife.Paper Wife focuses on Mei Ling, a young Chinese woman immigrating to San Francisco through Angel Island a in the early 1920 s Reactionary anti immigration laws in the United States and warfare in China caused people desperate for survival to be misleading about their identities so they could be united with family and have access to work Mei Ling yearns to have a life of integrity though it was built on a foundation of lies.Golden Poppies returns to the Freedman and Johnson families It was fascinating to bring them to California, to look at the suffrage movement, and to see how they could keep their connection strong in spite of the very different social worlds they occupied.

[ Reading ] ➷ Paper Wife Author Laila Ibrahim – Heartforum.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 298 pages
  • Paper Wife
  • Laila Ibrahim
  • 10 October 2017
  • 1503904571

10 thoughts on “Paper Wife

  1. Gina says:

    This book drew me in from the first page and didn t release me until the last even then, I didn t really want it to end.The novel begins in 1923 in China Already, that has my interest as I love historical fiction books with the added bonus of life and traditions in China thrown in I was hooked.Mei Ling s sister was to become the paper wife of a widower with one small son whom he has yet to meet who will be living in California When her sister becomes very ill just before she is to leave This book drew me in from the first page and didn t release me until the last even then, I didn t really want it to end.The novel begins in 1923 in China Already, that has my interest as I love historical fiction books with the added bonus of life and traditions in China thrown in I was hooked.Mei Ling s sister was to become the paper wife of a widower with one small son whom he has yet to meet who will be living in California When her sister becomes very ill just before she is to leave with the widower, Mei Ling s parents tell her she must stand in for her sister to preserve the family honor after making a promise to a matchmaker Mei Ling finds herself bound to a man she doesn t know with a small child to boot She marries Kai Li and will use the voyage to California to learn all about his first wife, so she can lie to the authorities effortlessly They consummate the marriage and board a ship to the United States Mei Ling knows it is probably the last time she will ever see her birth family.Aboard the ship, men are separated from women and Mei Ling s dreams of a beautiful oceanic voyage are crushed She is far below the deck, in cramped, damp, and a stinking hold However, it is there she makes two lifelong friends, one a young child, another an older woman While traveling, Mei Ling realizes she is also with child.I won t divulge anybecause to do so would be spoiling what is a story that needs to tell itself.I highly recommend this book I absolutely loved it, start to finish I just hope there will be a sequel

  2. Kathryn in FL says:

    An Engaging Story of Love and Loyalty in all its Splendor Ibrahim delivers another solid read based on history with rich characters living in challenging times I loved a earlier read Yellow Crocus and now she has enriched her readers lives with Paper Wife I struggled with my rating because I would have liked to see her relationship with her husband to continue further but the ending was perfect and it was a satisfying finish.Mei Ling s sister is set to marry a Chinese man living in Americ An Engaging Story of Love and Loyalty in all its Splendor Ibrahim delivers another solid read based on history with rich characters living in challenging times I loved a earlier read Yellow Crocus and now she has enriched her readers lives with Paper Wife I struggled with my rating because I would have liked to see her relationship with her husband to continue further but the ending was perfect and it was a satisfying finish.Mei Ling s sister is set to marry a Chinese man living in America when her parents spend their little savings to enable her survival as civil war and food scarcity threatens their survival At the morning she is to marry, she is severely ill so Mei is sent in her place Mei who has never met this man, maintains her sister s name and vital data The couple is separated on the ship from China to America after a few days of marriage She takes on the exclusive care of her husband s three year son, Bo and she befriends Siew, a six year old girl, who is orphaned Siew will be living with an unknown uncle once they arrive in San Francisco Siew becomes a big sister to Bo As Mei watches over Bo and Siew, she develops great love and affection for both as they journey When they are interned to determine their eligibility for residency at Angel Island, Mei continues parenting Siew After multiple interviews Mei is pretending to be the deceased wife of her husband or as is known as a paper wife A paper relation is some impersonating a relative of an Asian resident in the U.S Part of the reason for interment is to disqualify those people gaming the system as Paper relatives, which was by asking very specific information from both relatives individually that only a direct relative would know Mei answered many questions based on a book given to her by her husband while on the ship Many others had such books which were tossed into the ocean so that authorities would discover their cliff notes Once Mei is given notice that she will be admitted to the country, she promises Siew that the will remain friends and specifies a meeting place When she doesn t meet up with Siew, Mei and her husband seek her through a variety of ways, and they eventually find her working as a servant with very little comfort or safety What is planned for her as she matures brings out Mei s fierce determination to give Siew a home and safety This proves to be very challenging and the people involved are quite unhappy with Mei s proposal Mei endangers herself and family Her solution is shocking This story has us travel with Mei has she navigates multiple challenges in a new land with a man she barely knows Her cleverness and risk taking are rewarded time and again In many ways this could be the struggle of any immigrant arriving on Americas shores I live in a major metro area and have seen the challenges of new arrivals from every continent except Arctic and Antarctica , I have heard stories and witnessed the fear when they have been taken advantage by others sometimes by other immigrants but afraid to report the injustice for fear the spotlight will bring new problems Some having experienced ugliness in their homeland leaving already scarred and fearful of authority.Mei is a intriguing character, who loves with fierceness and demonstrates great loyalty Her growth from a sheltered, naive yet educated, young woman emerges into a courageous, momma bear willing to fight for those precious to her We believe if we were in her shoes, we would make the same choices or at least fight with her tenacity for those we love A spirited tale of survival I ve read similar tales of immigrants from China living at the Angel Island holding facility but this traveled in a wholly different direction than the others, to my delight

  3. Kristie says:

    This was a wonderful book I really enjoy Laila Ibrahim s writing I loved the first book I read by her, Yellow Crocus This story has similar pacing.I enjoyed getting to know the characters in this story Some of them werewell rounded than others, but I still enjoyed hearing their stories A couple of questions were left open, so you don t know everything you want to about all of them, but you know them all well enough I would have given the story 5 stars except for a couple of minor thi This was a wonderful book I really enjoy Laila Ibrahim s writing I loved the first book I read by her, Yellow Crocus This story has similar pacing.I enjoyed getting to know the characters in this story Some of them werewell rounded than others, but I still enjoyed hearing their stories A couple of questions were left open, so you don t know everything you want to about all of them, but you know them all well enough I would have given the story 5 stars except for a couple of minor things towards the end that I didn t love These issues were minor to me and I would still recommend this story to fans of the genre 4.5 Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

  4. Fontaine says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I read this book a few days ago and it is still bugging me The main character hears ghosts telling her to kill someone and she does it. and that s ok She s even thanked for it by her husband, and applauds herself for it because it was easier than dealing with the gangs Overall the story was fine, but the ridiculous way the happy ending came about just irritated me And there is no way those gangs would not have still found the girl Especially since the dad was working at the same ho I read this book a few days ago and it is still bugging me The main character hears ghosts telling her to kill someone and she does it. and that s ok She s even thanked for it by her husband, and applauds herself for it because it was easier than dealing with the gangs Overall the story was fine, but the ridiculous way the happy ending came about just irritated me And there is no way those gangs would not have still found the girl Especially since the dad was working at the same house where they knew the girl had been working So many illogical things about this story

  5. Karen Kay says:

    I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review Mei Ling s parents arrange a marriage to a widower in California To enter the country, she must pretend to be her husband s first wife a paper wife Set in early 1920 s, California, Mei Ling is forced to protect her fragile marriage and her children by making decisions that will have a life long effect.Easy read, good historical fiction story that would be appropriate for younger teens.3

  6. Amie& says:

    With immigration currently being a hot button issue in the United States and many other countries around the world, the publication of this book could not betimely Although this story begins ninety years ago in 1923, there are many alarming similarities between the discrimination faced by immigrants during that time period and the discrimination faced by those who have chosen to emigrate to the United States in modern times Mei Ling was happily living out her young life in China when the With immigration currently being a hot button issue in the United States and many other countries around the world, the publication of this book could not betimely Although this story begins ninety years ago in 1923, there are many alarming similarities between the discrimination faced by immigrants during that time period and the discrimination faced by those who have chosen to emigrate to the United States in modern times Mei Ling was happily living out her young life in China when the matchmaker arrived at the door of her parent s home A suitable match had been found for Mei Ling s older sister and the wedding date was set But, as fate would have it, her sister fell ill and her parents told Mei Ling that she would have to take her sister s place This deception early in the story is only one of many deceptions and white lies that occur throughout the book It is obvious that author Laila Ibrahim did her research for this book as the facts and traditions written about in this tale match perfectly with historic accounts from those who actually did leave China in hopes of a better life in the United States Laila Ibrahim s writing style and subject matter reminds me of author Lisa See I enjoyed the story even though I found one event to be completely implausible Despite that, the author has written a book that anyone who wonders what life might have been like for the huge wave of Asian immigrants who arrived en masse in the years following World War I will want to read I believe that by reading books such as PAPER WIFE, people will gain, at the very least, a small measure of empathy for people whose cultures and or backgrounds are different from their own Reading stories like this one, prove to readers that people aresimilar than they are different We all want the same thing We want a safe and comfortable place to sleep, a good education for our children, and a job that allows us to provide for our families.In PAPER WIFE, Mei Ling was detained on Angel Island and interrogated by officials who used intimidation and threats to try to force her to change her story or to catch her in a lie This is a true reflection of what immigrants were subjected to in 1925 We need to learn from the past If we do not learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them I rate PAPER WIFE as 4 OUT OF 5 STARS To read my full review and to read aboutgreat books, visit my blog at me on Instagram Amiesbookreviews and on Twitter Amiesbookreview

  7. Amber says:

    When Mei Ling s sister gets ill, Mei Ling takes her sisters place to become a paper wife for her new husband Kai Li who is taking her and his son Bo back home to California Will she survive and adapt to her new home while having a happy family Read on and find out for yourself.This was a pretty good read and my final read for 2019 If you enjoy historical fiction about Chinese american immigrants and surviving in a new land, then be sure to check this book out at your local library and whereve When Mei Ling s sister gets ill, Mei Ling takes her sisters place to become a paper wife for her new husband Kai Li who is taking her and his son Bo back home to California Will she survive and adapt to her new home while having a happy family Read on and find out for yourself.This was a pretty good read and my final read for 2019 If you enjoy historical fiction about Chinese american immigrants and surviving in a new land, then be sure to check this book out at your local library and wherever books are sold

  8. Maya B says:

    Interesting but a very slow read in my opinion I felt the characters needed a lotdepth This is my least favorite read by this author

  9. Jultri says:

    DNF 14% The time period and main character are potentially interesting, but I just don t think I m a fan of Ibrahim s writing, this being my second book of hers.

  10. Aja: The Narcoleptic Ninja says:

    This was a quick and engaging read I enjoyed it, but I wantedThere were a lot of secrets and things in the book to create tension, but most of it came to light without too much conflict I wanted a littlecharacter development, a littleof the backstory and motives for some of the characters, etc It was a good read, but I wanted .

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