The Ancestral Quest: A True Story of a Family Torn Between Two Worlds

The Ancestral Quest: A True Story of a Family Torn Between Two Worlds

By F. G. Kwong


Format: Paperback

(2 customer reviews)

Publication Date: Sept. 28, 2021

£12.99

Want to buy as an ebook? Click here

Categories: History, Politics and Society, Biography

ISBN: 9781913208899

Description

When traditional Chinese parents attempted to bring up a family in Britain in the old ancestral tradition, the two worlds of East and West collide head-on in a clash of cultures with tragic consequences. It was a quest for identity and a quest for peace.

In 1921 aged twenty-two, Kwong Shuin Ji as the eldest son was ordered by his father to leave their ancestral home in semi-feudal China for the West to save the family from starvation in the civil wars that erupted following the fall of the Last Emperor of China.

Landing in Liverpool, he went on the run to escape threats and extortion by criminal Triad gangs who targeted immigrants such as him. At the age of thirty-eight, married by proxy without a say in the matter to a girl of eighteen with no name from a neighbouring village in Taishan, duty and obligation to look after his family in China as well as his increasing brood of children in Britain dominated his life. Enduring the bombing blitz in Liverpool during the war and facing attacks by thugs who thought that they were Japanese, he managed to protect his family and survive.

From the time his eldest son Francis was born, his father treated him with mysterious diffidence, bordering on hostility. Constantly at war with his parents, elopements, recriminations and tragedy haunted the family. Convinced that his father was hiding a dark family secret, he began a search for an answer.

In 1966, his father returned to his homeland at the height of the Cultural Revolution to see his siblings after forty-five years away, only to be savaged as a stranger accused of deserting his peasant roots.

On his deathbed, Kwong Shuin Ji now eighty years old, with stark revelations now in the open threatening to destroy the family, was it too late for redemption and reconciliation between father and son and the quest for the truth now finally buried forever?

After three decades in clinical practice in the physical therapies in London, F. G. Kwong retired to devote time to his other passion of writing.

Reviews



Simon Holder (Guest Review) - 07 Oct, 2021

I am only half way through this wonderful book, but already I believe it to be a masterpiece; beautifully written, bitterly emotive, fascinating, involving and breathtaking , its descriptive command of China's emergence from its feudal roots clashing with the 20th century is like standing on ground being shaken by an earthquake. It is on a par with that other great Chinese masterpiece, Wild Swans by Jung Chan, which so moved, enlightened and fascinated us some years ago. To understand China today and why there is that feeling of revenge (although this is not a vengeful tale of itself) this is essential reading; fact and history, personal doubt and then triumph over hideous odds, betrayal and redemption, despair and hope - all written with the sharpness of a British Chinese man's eye trying to balance the tangible experience of his own roots with his adopted ones, give us an idea of why China is how it is today. A must-read...


P.R.Brooks (via text) 10/12/21 (Guest Review) - 30 Dec, 2021

THE ANCESTRAL QUEST
Love, Grief and Hope through the conflict of War and Across the Racial Divide. A Family's journey of Survival from Ancient China to the West.

This is a poignant tale of having to leave all you know to start afresh in a new country and a different culture is as relevant today as when The Ancestral Quest was first set back in 1921. This is a story concerning the eldest son from a traditional Chinese family forced to leave his ancestral home to travel to the West to save his family from starvation and the ramifications of war after the fall of the last Emperor of China. Beautifully written and introducing the reader to a shocking world of extortion and vendettas by criminal Triad gangs, marriage by proxy, living through the Blitz in Liverpool during the war, inter-racial tensions, and a patrilineal duty to support two families in vastly contrasting cultures, this is a thought-provoking account ultimately about righting wrongs and reconciliation between father and son before it was too late.

It is also an incisive chronicle about the remarkable transition of two entirely different nations evolving in Britain and China over the last hundred years against the shifting backdrop of world events. A must read for fans of awe-inspiring true stories and biographies of gritty family sagas in their revelatory rawness with often tragic consequences when offspring elope to marry foreigners against their parental wishes. The Ancestral Quest is an accomplished work by debut author F.G.Kwong, and the heart of the story acts as an encouraging reminder that it is never too late to make amends despite impossible odds when confronted with the massive chasm between the cultures of East and West as well as to survive against seemingly insurmountable obstacles and then to triumph over adversity. A real page turner. Well recommended.


Related Books