A stirring coming-of-age novel about guilt, loss, love and memory. Others Were Emeralds explores the inherent danger of allowing our misconceptions to shape our reality.
This is the part in the story where someone I love would only appear again in flashbacks.
The daughter of Cambodian refugees, Ai grew up in the small Australian town of Whitlam populated by Asian immigrants who once fled war-torn countries to rebuild their shattered lives. It is now the late '90s and despite their parents' harrowing past, Ai and her tightknit group of school friends lead seemingly ordinary lives, far removed from the unimaginable horrors suffered by their parents.
But that carefree innocence is shattered in their last year of school when an incident involving Ai and her friends spirals into senseless violence, leaving behind a trail of unresolved trauma. Years later, Ai is compelled to look back on the tragedy that shaped her adolescence, to examine the role she may have unwittingly played.
Internationally acclaimed poet Lang Leav brings her poetical lyricism and emotional acumen to create a rich and compelling coming-of-age narrative set during a period in Australia's history when anti-Asian sentiment was sweeping the nation.
'I want to read everything Lang Leav writes! Others Were Emeralds kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. With lyrical and moving prose, Lang tells a stunning tale of love, loss, and the true power of friendship. Filled with unforgettable characters and richly detailed settings, this is a deep, beautiful novel.' - Etaf Rum, New York Times bestselling author of A Woman is No Man