Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops by Allison Hong Merrill is a story told in first person, of betrayal, faith and redemption.
The book begins in November with a newly married Allison, flicking the light switch on in apartment 21. The apartment she shared with her husband.
She finds that she has no electricity, heat, or other utilities.The apartment is bare. Her husband of a few months has left her with the help of his wealthy parents.
Allison’s story navigates from there into the past and back to the present showing how her childhood in Taiwan led to the progression of her faith journey.
When many young Taiwanese women were practicing Buddhism and heading into high paying careers, Allison became part of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
Her only desire in life was to be a wife, mother, and be active in her chosen faith.
This all led to a non-working light switch, and an empty apartment. What was she to do next? She was not a wife, mother, student or career woman.
Could she survive on her own?
Allison Hong’s book is mesmerizing and gut wrenching. Any one (especially women) who has felt the stab of betrayal, knows what Allison is going through.
Her writing is so detailed that it feels as if you are in that apartment with her. You feel the cold.
Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops is evocative and paints outstanding word pictures. Each character introduced is well fleshed out. The reader may know people that feel like these characters in Allison’s life.
This book made me realize how deeply betrayal has convinced many women to remain in less-than-ideal situations for “comfort” or identity’s sake.
Reading Allison’s book was difficult but uplifting. Faith was her anchor. The reader does learn a fair amount about the Mormon church as the book progresses.
This is a must read for anyone going through a difficult time or facing betrayal, loss, or abuse.
Allison’s faith seems to be the life saver of choice in her ocean of doubt and loss.
If you are looking for more book suggestions, try these reviews by MockingOwl Roost staff and contributors.
- Empire of Ice and Stone
- Fly Girl
- Three Girls from Bronzeville
- It Was a Good Plan and Then the World Spun Upside Down
Sue Cook lives in Freeport, Illinois with her husband Randy and two dogs. Her passions include assistance dogs, rescue dogs, music, acting, theater, poetry, and Doctor Who. She’s been in both film and theater and is a regular cast member of the podcast Doctor Who’s Line is it….Anyway? Sue is an advocate for the use of Service Dogs to assist their disabled handlers to maintain their independence. Quigley’s Quest, her first children’s book, addresses how a dog becomes a Service Dog.