Author: Malinda Lo
Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller
Started: May 18, 2022
Finished: May 23, 2022
Lily Hu is a 16 year old girl growing up in the Chinatown neighborhood in San Francisco during the Red Scare. She is a girl who has always done what she was told and met her parent's expectations. What she has never done is discover who she truly is.
After coming across an advertisement for a male impersonator, she finds herself wanting to visit The Telegraph Club despite knowing that it is a club for homosexuals. Lily finds a kindred soul in Kathleen Miller, the only other girl in her math class. After getting to know each other, Lily discovers that Kathleen has been to the Telegraph Club and she offers to take her.
Once she enters the club, Lily's world is never the same. She experiences what it is like to begin to understand who she is and who she loves. Once she has realized all of this, her whole worlds fall apart when her secret is no longer a secret and she must face those whose opinion matters the most.
The narrator, Emily Woo Zeller, was phenomenal. She truly brought each character to life and made you feel the pain of falling in love with someone unexpectedly. Her ability to bring each character, whether masculine or feminine, to life surpassed anything I would have expected.
Malinda Lo tells a beautiful, poignant story of a young girl coming of age and accepting that you are different than the people around you. I am so glad that I took the time to truly enjoy this story and learn all I could about Chinatown in the 1950s when the government was deporting people just on suspicion of being Communist. It truly reminds you how far we have come to love those we do and how much further we have yet to go.