Mona in the Promised Land

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Knopf, 1996 - Fiction - 303 pages
45 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  - Cat - Goodreads

Jen is very funny and has a rich sense of character, but this novel felt a little thin and repetitive (or baggy?) to me. Her brand of witty realism supports the intimate and strained relationships ... Read full review

Review: Mona in the Promised Land

User Review  - Omar - Goodreads

*fire emoji* Basically, "what if Swede Lvov was Chinese, and the story was from his daughter's perspective?" Love it. Read full review

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