First Fiction Fridays: Picture Bride by C. Fong Hsiung
Picture Bride is both surprising and thrilling. It will have you gasping at injustice and rooting for the protagonist to succeed. Picture Bride is full of the unexpected. With its twists and turns it will catch you off guard and leave you pleasantly surprised. It is a whirlwind of a story that captures the kindness and support of friendship, the rewards of hard work, and the positivity that arises out of hope.
What:Picture Bride (TSAR Publications, 2014) Who:The eldest of five children, C. Fong Hsiung was born to Hakka Chinese parents in Kolkata, India, and immigrated to Canada at the age of eighteen. Her short story, “Alfie,” was published by Life Rattle Press for The Totally Unknown Writers Festival 2012, and was also featured in Life Rattle Radio.You can follow C. Fong Hsiung on Twitter at @MyWritingSideWhy you need to read this now:Opening up Picture Bride, is like opening up a door and taking a step into an entirely new world. It shows Canada through the eyes of the recently immigrated Jillian, frightened, alone, but hopeful of a new start in a country of many opportunities. C. Fong Hsiung tells the reader a story of arranged marriage, loveless relationships, cultural ties, new friendships, and the struggle to adapt to a new country and culture. Jillian’s story is heart-wrenching and often times appalling. She is left with very little choice when her new husband, Peter rejects any show love or affection, to the point of refusing to touch her even on their wedding night. Jillian’s discovery of Peter’s homosexuality, his anger at her newfound knowledge, and his desperation for her to keep his secret quiet, forces Jillian to sink deeper and deeper into despair. She wants so desperately to make her marriage work, but despite her efforts she is trapped. Above all else, Jillian is a survivor. She feels duty bound to her culture and to her family, but there is only so much abuse and upset that she can handle.Jillian’s is a story of self-discovery, determination, strength, and bravery. Her move to Canada ignites her independence and her desire for love and happiness. In Picture Bride, love comes at a price and that price is isolation. In order to chase her dreams, she must risk bringing shame not only to herself, but to her entire family as well. Life in a new country isn’t easy and it’s made all the more difficult when you’re by yourself. But it is in this strange new culture that Jillian finds freedom. She works hard to rebuild her life and to make a home for herself in an unfamiliar place. She is forced to face her fears and to turn her back on everything she has ever known, but she bonds not only with other recent immigrants like herself, but with native Canadians who understand her struggles and encourage her to fight for her freedom. Out of the negativity that accompanies her arrival in Canada, Jillian manages to find love, support, and friendship. She turns this strange, new world into a place that she can call home.Picture Bride is both surprising and thrilling. It will have you gasping at injustice and rooting for the protagonist to succeed. Picture Bride is full of the unexpected. With its twists and turns it will catch you off guard and leave you pleasantly surprised. It is a whirlwind of a story that captures the kindness and support of friendship, the rewards of hard work, and the positivity that arises out of hope.***Thank you TSAR Publications for sharing this title with us.