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Extended Audio Sample Diamond Head: A Novel, by Cecily Wong Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cecily Wong Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller, Janet Song, Nancy Wu, Samantha Qua Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Diamond Head is a sweeping debut from a young, powerful new voice in fiction that follows four generations of a wealthy shipping family whose rise and decline is riddled with secrets and tragic love.

At the turn of the nineteenth century, Frank Leong, a fabulously wealthy shipping industrialist, moves his family from China to the island of Oahu. But something ancient follows the Leongs to Hawaii, haunting them. The fabled red string of fate, the cord that binds intended lovers, also punishes mistakes in love, passing a destructive knot down the family line.

When Frank Leong is murdered, his family is thrown into a perilous downward spiral. Left to rebuild in their patriarch’s shadow, the surviving members of the Leong family try their hand at a new, ordinary life, vowing to bury their gilded past. Still, the island continues to whisper fragments of truth and chatter, until a letter arrives two decades later carrying a shattering confession.

Now the Leongs’ survival rests with young Theresa, Frank Leong’s only grandchild, eighteen and pregnant, the heir apparent to her ancestors’ punishing knots.

Told through the eyes of the Leong’s secret-keeping daughters and wives and spanning the Boxer Rebellion to Pearl Harbor to 1960s Hawaii, Diamond Head is a breathtakingly powerful tale of tragic love, shocking lies, poignant compromise, aching loss, heroic acts of sacrifice, and miraculous hope.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ms. Wong’s first novel is a vivid story of a family’s journey over time. We live and breathe with her characters as we witness history shaping family and family creating its own history. Diamond Head is a jewel of a saga.”

    Rebecca Wells, New York Times bestselling author of Ya Yas in Bloom

  • “A sweeping family saga in the tradition of Amy Tan. Told from multiple points of view and moving back and forth in time over several generations of the Leong family, the story centers on how people remain tied to one another…Wong perceptively captures her cast of characters and their setting.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Will hook readers from the first page and not let go until the final tragic secret is revealed…By skillfully weaving a murder mystery into the story, Wong keeps the pace moving, and the twist ending is a surprise…Reading groups and fans of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club will enjoy exploring Chinese Hawaiian history and culture with this lovely novel.”

    Library Journal

  • “Wong’s multigenerational Hawaiian saga of deception and loyalty evocatively captures the tightly controlled worlds of privilege and power.”


  • “The fate and fortunes of a Sino-Hawaiian family are altered by bad romantic choices…Wong’s pellucid prose style keeps the pages turning…A promising debut.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • ​“Cecily Wong’s lush debut novel hooked me in right away as it slowly unraveled the tangle of secrets the Leong family has kept for decades. Diamond Head is an intricate meditation on what is in our control and what is fate.”

    Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You

  • A 2015 Barnes & Noble Summer Discover Pick of Great New Writers
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About the Author

Cecily Wong graduated from Barnard College, where the first pages of Diamond Head won the Peter S. Prescott Prize for Prose in 2010, judged by Elizabeth Strout, Caryl Philipps, and Malena Watrous. Chinese-Hawaiian herself, she was born on Oahu. She currently lives and writes in New York City.