Mona in the Promised Land

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Knopf, 1996 - Fiction - 303 pages
36 Reviews
It is 1968, the dawn of the age of ethnicity: African Americans are turning Chinese, Jews are turning black, and though some nice Chinese girls are turning more Chinese, teenaged Mona Chang is turning Jewish, much to her parents' chagrin.
The Chang family has just moved to posh Scarshill, New York, where the rhododendrons are as big as the Chang family's old bathroom, and no one trims the forsythia into little can shapes. This takes some getting used to, especially since there's also a new social landscape, with a hot line, a mystery caller, and a Temple Youth Group full of radical ideas.
Mona quickly bleaches her bell-bottoms; then it's off with her friends to reform race relations. They find a cause in Alfred, the handsome black number-two cook at Mona's parents' pancake house, and pretty soon there is a mansion hideout with an underground railroad and a utopia called Camp Gugelstein.
Certain love affairs run into trouble, though. And by the end, for better or for worse, unforeseen truths of contemporary America have been memorably revealed.

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Review: Mona in the Promised Land

User Review  - Susan Ariew - Goodreads

I loved Mona's character, her complicated relationship with her Chinese mother, and her entanglements with her Jewish friends, boyfriends, the Black community, and the Jewish religion. Mona's story nicely captures the conflicts between first generation immigrants and their American offspring. Read full review

Review: Mona in the Promised Land

User Review  - Lizziepeps - Goodreads

I would have given this novel a 5/5 for the first half...but the second half left me disappointed. Read full review


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