My father knows about dead people. He photographs the war for Time magazine in New York.
In the morning, I spread the paper across the living room table. There's a black-and-white photo of American soldiers wading through a stream lined with mangrove trees. The soldiers walk thigh-deep through the muddy water, equipment hanging off of them, faces alert, guns bristling. I look for my father.
It's early but already hot. The French doors to the verandah open wide to let in the night air, which isn't any cooler. Frankie and I whisper so as not to wake my mother. We hear the splutter of junks returning from night fishing grounds. Diesel engines cut in and out as they chug their way through the channel between Hong Kong and Lamma Island. Ah Bing sings, high-pitched, in her back room.
Our apartment's near Pok Fu Lam village. We rent the middle floor of a three-story, slightly graying stucco house. . . . It's because of the trees that my father chose the apartment. The trees and the view west over Lamma, Cheung Chau, and Lantau Islands.
Excerpted from White Ghost Girls © Copyright 2012 by Alice Greenway. Reprinted with permission by Black Cat/Grove Press. All rights reserved.