Winner of the Janet Frame Fiction Award 2009
It is the early 1900s and brothers Yung and Shun, immigrants from China, eke out a living as greengrocers in Wellington. The pair must support their families back home, but know they must adapt if they are to survive and prosper in their adopted home.
Meanwhile, Katherine McKechnie struggles to raise her rebellious son and her daughter following the death of her husband, Donald. A strident right-wing newspaperman, Donald terrorized his family, though was idolized by his son.
One day, Katherine comes to Yung’s shop and is touched by the Chinaman’s unexpected generosity. Over time a clandestine relationship develops between the immigrant and the widow, a relationship Katherine’s son Robbie cannot abide . . .
During the First World War, as young men are swept up on a tide of macho patriotism, Robbie takes his family’s honour into his own hands. In doing so, he places his mother at the heart of a tragedy that will affect everyone and everything she holds dear.
Powerful, moving and utterly unforgettable, As the Earth Turns Silver announces the arrival of a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.