Diamond Head : a novel, by Cecily Wong.  Harper, 2015.

It seems that, ever since Niffenberger's Time Traveler's Wife, authors have been using the device of alternating their points of view between two narrators and/or time points in their novels. In this novel, alternating between the early 20th century and 1964, and in chapters alternately narrated by Amy (mom) and Theresa (daughter), we learn the history of the Leong family in China and Hawaii.

Since I was living in Hawaii in 1964 and am familiar with the places, schools, and social life of that time, I was curious to see how "authentic" the author's descriptions would be. They are, in fact, quite authentic. I have been to many of the places mentioned in the book, and I felt I knew the Leong family, or at least, their friends and relatives. The place names and descriptions, and even the use of local language was spot on. Even so, the concept of the red string connecting actions of the past to events in the future was novel, and the device was effective in "tying" the family history together.

In contrast to Hotel Honolulu, where the characters were hyperbolic and stereotypical, the characters in Diamond Head could have been my real classmates, uncles, and friends. I found it difficult, at first, to keep the characters straight, particularly since one of them was known by at least two names. But once I caught on, the narrative propelled itself to the end, following each thread in the knotty family drama to its unexpected conclusion.