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Reviewed by Bryone Peters for Readers' Favorite
The Accidental Mayor by Ed Eng is a collection of bitter-sweet memories about a Chinese immigrant and his family. It starts in Hong Kong, where he lives with his grandma, parents, and siblings, and ends in America. His journey is tough and filled with tribulations. Already considered a weakling in his hometown, he has to endure a starkly different life from that of other Hong Kong children. Eng's family is poor and moves to America for a better life. However, after crushed expectations, Eng's parents resort to menial, low-paying jobs to make ends meet. He describes the worst of his life and the culture of bullying and fear in his American school. Considered a sickly boy from an early age, Eng grows from strength to strength and eventually finds his gold mountain.
Once you start reading The Accidental Mayor by Ed Eng, you will find it hard to stop. Eng has a sophisticated writing style. He expresses thoughts that are authentic and never disingenuous. I love the imagery in the memories that he portrays. Eng has a beautiful way of personifying objects. He does so with creativity and wit. The portrayal of the feeling of loss of his loveable yet eccentric grandma, Ah Ngyin, was moving. I could immediately sympathize with him. He describes many funny memories of the Hong Kong society he grew up in before his family emigrated to America. I wholeheartedly recommend this uplifting and enjoyable book. It has many lessons, including the power of grit, positivity, and never losing sight of who you are.