Thousand Pieces of Gold
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By: Ruthanne Lum McCunn
Summary: Lalu Nathoy's father called his thirteen-year-old daughter his treasure, his "thousand pieces of gold," yet when famine strikes northern China in 1871, he is forced to sell her. Polly, as Lalu is later called, is sold to a brothel, sold again to a slave merchant bound for America, auctioned to a saloonkeeper, and offered as a prize in a poker game. This biographical novel is the extraordinary story of one woman's fight for independence and dignity in the American West.
Review: Thousand Pieces of Gold tells the true story of Lalu Nathoy, who grows up for the first decade of her life in the male dominated world of the late 1800's in China. Her Father unlike many other men calls her his 'thousand pieces of gold', and even when hard times come, resists the urge to sell her as his only daughter but when the family is threatened by bandits a few years later as he is watching his sons and wives starve cultural and societal pressures come together and Lalu's Father sells her for nothing more than a few bags of seed. After this the reader follows Lalu's life through journeys with bandits, dark roads into brothels, and it follows a path that leads her to America where she is sold to a saloon and renamed Polly. She eventually regains her freedom, and as a reader it was a book I could not put down as you celebrated with her as she found happiness love, and ultimately redemption.