Crimson China by Betsy Tobin
On a freezing night in February 2004 twenty-three illegal Chinese migrants perished whilst picking cockles in the deadly waters of Morecambe Bay. Only twenty-one bodies were recovered. At a memorial service for the victims, a member of the local community offered the hope that one or both of those not found had somehow managed to survive. This is fact. The rest of the story is based around what Tobin imagined might have happened to one of the survivors.
The novel begins with a drunken Angie wading into Morecambe Bay expecting to confront the spirit of her dead mother who drove her car onto the treacherous quicksand and successfully committed suicide. Angie wants to die too, instead she sees the head of Wen bobbing up and down in the dark water and rescues him. In doing so two worlds collide, East and West, both desperate and despairing, hopeless and hopeful.
This is a story about the buoyancy of the human spirit and the powerful undertow of love. The novel also sheds light on a hidden dangerous world that runs parallel to our own.
I enjoyed it, it’s a nice story. Good characters, good writing and a happy ending!