Invisible Orphans

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Invisible Orphan starts with a visit to Hainan in China. The main character, an independent young woman living in Hong Kong and Macau, wants to visit the Chinese mainland to see if it is as unique as her second-grade geography teacher had told her. It’s here that she meets Matthew from Indiana. He was teaching at a Chinese University and also wanted to explore other parts of China. They were thrown together when Matthew needed a sponsor for the trip, and Viv told the authorities they were friends. However, when Viv’s friend Tony, who is also traveling in the group, does something unexpected, she and Matthew find themselves forming more and more of an attachment to each other.

But life doesn’t prove to be easy for them. Once they move to Indiana, Matthew is confronted with tragedies from his past that sends him into a depression that eventually leads to his suicide. Viv and Matthew’s family are forced to confront their immense sadness with his passing, but ultimately, Viv feels the need to move on with her life. She relocates to California and tries to redefine her life by working with nonprofit organizations. But her grief and guilt about her husband’s past and their relationship continue to haunt her.

This is a moving story about two characters from different backgrounds, cultures, and parts of the world. They find connections that allow them to forge a life together. And the author includes so many fascinating details and descriptions of food, travel, and family life that the story almost seems like a work of non-fiction. I loved that she was able to feel at home in Asia, give tantalizing descriptions of recipes, and also describe a typical home in middle America that will be so familiar to many readers.

I like that the story was told from Viv’s perspective, but I wish the author had used her name more often. The fact that her name appears very rarely in the story seemed odd to me. On the other hand, I am glad there were letters from Matthew to her because that not only gave the reader a glimpse into the relationship but allowed Matthew to appear as a more dynamic character as well. Best of all, the author created two characters that I cared about, and that kept me turning the pages to find out how the story would turn out. I finished Invisible Orphan knowing that I would love to read more stories by Jade Moon Le.

Reviewed By:

Author Jade Moon Le
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 234 pages
Publisher Rare Bird Books
Publish Date 15-Nov-2022
ISBN 9781644283141 Buy this Book
Issue November 2022
Category Popular Fiction