Behind the Moon – review


Behind the Moon

Behind the Moon by Hsu-Ming Teo

A trio of friends─Justin, Tien, and Gibbo─experience life, love, rejection, shame, self-hatred, and inferiority as they battle their cultures, their families, and each other.

Justin, a Chinese-Australian whose family hails from Singapore, attempts to hide his homosexuality and reject his Asian-ness. Tien, a Vietnamese-African-American, tries to escape what she feels is a curse of blood and parentage. Gibbo, overweight and Australian, re-imagines himself in the image of the Asians he admires. Their families, bound by their friendship, navigate boundaries as a group.

The book is, rather than a linear-plot novel, is a series of short stories/windows into each character’s life and thoughts. While the main trio comes across as unlikeable─Tien is selfish and rude, Gibbo is a whiny stalker, Justin despises his ethnicity─we are able to learn deeper motives and emotions, the most prevailing of which is loneliness.

I rather enjoyed this book, much more than I thought I would after reading other reviews. In the end, I understand why the trio acted and reacted the way that they did. 3.8 stars, and only because the ending was left so…open.



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