Friday, July 31, 2009

Accidental Heroes, Accidental Villains

Lee Family History marred by Violence, Betrayal and Death

By Ed Chung
© Copyright 2009
Publisher: Vandoos Publishing
ISBN 978-0-578-02748-7
309 Pages

This book tells the riveting story of the Lee family through five generations both in China and Canada. From the Qing Manchu Dynasty to present day, the author relates the adventures, misadventures, love and hate of his ancestors, who lived and died as both heroes and villains.
The story begins rather slowly, as Hayden Lee tells of how his parents met and his own upbringing in the United States and back to Canada in 1989. Under the influence of a gentle and loving mother, and a well-read father with a PhD in anthropology, Lee learned much about kindness on the one hand and the importance of a good education on the other. A serious and dedicated student, Lee received a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in June 2000.

Aside from his father’s adamant refusal to discuss family history, life was good – that is until his grandfather came to visit one summer. Even as a young boy, Lee couldn’t help noticing the steely iciness between his father and grandfather, but it would be several more years before he learned the reasons why. And the reasons were explosive.

Life in China during the mid-1800s meant severe poverty for most people, including Lee’s ancestors under the repressive Qing Dynasty. They originally became involved in what was known as the Red Sky Society – a group involved in extortion, gambling and murder – in an effort to feed their families. Becoming a member meant security and money – two things they’d never have otherwise. And Lee’s great, great grandfather, Lee Sing Mun, quickly rose in the ranks to become a leader in what later became know as the Triads or criminal underground societies. This move precipitates a string of illegal association with the group that followed one generation after the other during China’s struggles with two world wars and much internal civil unrest.

The author presents the Lee family’s action-packed, violent and sometimes sordid history with great care, compassion and dedication to historical accuracy making it a most interesting read. However, the countless spelling, misplaced words and grammatical errors throughout the book detract from this to some extent. It would have been prudent for the author to hire a professional editor to review the work before it was published. Unfortunately, many publishers today just don’t cut it in this area and it’s left to the author to ensure accuracy.

To get a copy of this Accidental Heroes, Accidental Villains go to
the Book Place by Ed Chung.

No comments: