[Ford's] new work depicts another star-crossed romance, but the real love here is between mother and son. On a movie outing, William Eng, a Chinese American boy at the repressive Sacred Heart Orphanage in 1930s Seattle, sees the beautiful actress Willow Frost on-screen and is convinced that she is his mother.... He finds her quickly...then hears her plaintive tale.... Writing in simple, unaffected language befitting both William and the young Willow, Ford delivers a tale his fans will certainly relish. —Barbara Hoffert
William awakens to yet another morning of beatings for bed-wetters at the Sacred Heart orphanage. In 1931, lots of children have been orphaned or left with the sisters because their parents could not care for them.... [He] joins the other boys on a trip to the theater. Just before the movie begins, a beautiful woman appears on screen.... Soon, William and his best friend, Charlotte...concoct a plan to escape the orphanage and find the mysterious singer named Willow Frost.... Ford writes of American life in the 1920s and '30s, bustling with go-getters and burdened with trampled masses.... A heartbreaking yet subdued story.
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