The Conjoined

By Jen Sookfong Lee
Narrator Sabryn Rock

The Conjoined
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On a sunny May morning, social worker Jessica Campbell sorts through her mother’s belongings after her recent funeral. In the basement, she makes a shocking discovery — two dead girls curled into the bottom of her mother’s chest freezers. She remembers a pair of foster ... Read more


Overview

On a sunny May morning, social worker Jessica Campbell sorts through her mother’s belongings after her recent funeral. In the basement, she makes a shocking discovery — two dead girls curled into the bottom of her mother’s chest freezers. She remembers a pair of foster children who lived with the family in 1988: Casey and Jamie Cheng — troubled, beautiful, and wild teenaged sisters from Vancouver’s Chinatown. After six weeks, they disappeared; social workers, police officers, and Jessica herself assumed they had run away.

As Jessica learns more about Casey, Jamie, and their troubled immigrant Chinese parents, she also unearths dark stories about Donna, whom she had always thought of as the perfect mother. The complicated truths she uncovers force her to take stock of own life.

Moving between present and past, this riveting novel unflinchingly examines the myth of social heroism and traces the often-hidden fractures that divide our diverse cities.

Reviews

 

“With flawless writing and gothic imagination, Lee shows how a forgotten crime can reveal uncomfortable truths about family, class, and racism.  The Conjoined is a fearless novel and a compulsive read. ” — Emily Schultz author of The Blondes

“The mystery of how the girls died is not the book’s main focus, but this captivating novel still moves with the pace of a thriller as it deftly fills in the gaps in the lives of several people, each fractured by horrors of their very own, joined as one in betrayal, trauma, and uncertainty. ”  — Publishers Weekly

“Though the plot races along, I found depths to The Conjoined that moved me . . . This book is a gem of necessary truths. ” — A Bookish Type

“Sookfong Lee is a gifted writer, telling a complicated story with depth and insight . . . The Conjoined is a quick, compelling read. But its characters and their stories will linger. ” — Vancouver Sun

“This is a story about family relationships and how they can break and fail. It's also about identity, suffering, broken social systems, and understanding how the past forms us. There's a lot going on here, but these themes organically engage and shape one another. ” — Falling Letters

 

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