Monday, October 22, 2018
This Quintessence of Dust, by Marshall Moore
I should say I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. Thanks much.
Some stories start off so strongly that I am rooting for them. This one started so slowly I didn't really expect it to go anywhere. Obviously I was wrong.
The narrator is a Hong Kong native, a gay man, who has just returned after breaking up with his lover in England. Something else happened back there, something bad, but we won't get the details for a while.
He is living on Cheung Chau, a small island off the main part of Hong Kong. For some reason a lot of people go there to die. His parents have made a lot of money investing in the resulting depressed prices: "Investing in Suicide Island took a certain sangfroid unique to the Chinese. [Mom] was a bank manager. Death could be lucrative."
Then there are his two uncles who are doing well, but the source of whose money is not clear. And a young woman he meets drowns herself.
How does all this connect to our protagonist, and his very much alive ex-lover back in Britain? All shall be revealed and it shall be surprising...