A Map of Betrayal
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A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year
From the award-winning author of Waiting and War Trash: a riveting tale of espionage and conflicted loyalties that spans half a century in the entwined histories of two countries—China and the United States—and two families.
When Lilian Shang, born and raised in America, discovers her father’s diary after the death of her parents, she is shocked by the secrets it contains. She knew that her father, Gary, convicted decades ago of being a mole in the CIA, was the most important Chinese spy ever caught. But his diary, an astonishing chronicle of his journey as a Communist intelligence agent, reveals the pain and longing that his double life entailed—and point to a hidden second family that he’d left behind in China. As Lilian follows her father’s trail back into the Chinese provinces, she begins to grasp the extent of his dilemma: he is a man torn between loyalty to his motherland and the love he came to feel for his adopted country. She sees how his sense of duty distorted his life, and as she starts to understand that Gary too had been betrayed, Lilian finds that it is up to her to prevent his tragedy from endangering yet another generation of Shangs.
A stunning portrait of a multinational family and an unflinching inquiry into the meaning of citizenship, patriotism, and home, A Map of Betrayal is a spy novel that only Ha Jin could write.
From the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Repetitive with an infuriating second plot
This book would’ve been significantly better had the Lilian story been removed. The textbook writing style makes her appear arrogant and flat out annoying. She is presumptuous, constantly makes gross generalizations, and her language is uninteresting. Her story in general is also relatively uninteresting, but that might’ve had to do more with my aversion to her as a character. Overall, the books seems to enjoy repeating itself again and again, but it is less frustrating when in Gary’s 3rd person narrative.