Long Way Home
Journeys of a Chinese Montanan

by Flora Wong, with Tom Decker

published by Wing Shing Company LLC

produced by Sweetgrass Books

  • In 1936, seven-year-old Flora Wong, her parents, and her seven siblings left their home in Boston and set out across the Pacific Ocean on a twenty-one-day voyage to return to their parents' home village in rural southern China. Flora's father and mother sought a new, quiet life for their young family in their native land.

    But this was a different China, and Flora's family would not find the peace they sought. China's Communist Party had begun its rise toward revolution. And in 1937, Japan launched a full-scale invasion of China. Within a few years of her arrival, full-scale world war engulfed Flora's new home.

    Amid the turmoil, Flora and her family managed to build a modest life in their small village. In time, this young girl whose only home had been Boston, learned to tend the rice and vegetables, draw water from the town well, sew simple clothes and trap frogs and beetles. Her education ended in the second grade.

    At eighteen, Flora was told she was engaged to be married. Working to ensure the survival of her six daughters, Chen Sun Ho had set a plan in motion to arrange marriages for each in the United States so they could return to the safety of their home country.

    Flora began a new life in rugged Montana, worlds away from her small village. It was here that the timid girl grew into a wife, mother, business owner, and athlete. Now, some sixty years later, Flora Wong retraces her family's odyssey as she shares candid insights, heartbreaking tragedies, and personal triumphs.

    Hers is a story of an authentic, ordinary person facing extraordinary challenges--the story of one Chinese Montana's long way home.

248 pages, 6 x 9, 20 b/w photos, 52 softcovers per case

ISBN 10: 1-59152-083-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-59152-083-2

September 2011





Long Way Home
Journeys of a Chinese Montanan

Long Way Home align=

Flora Wong, with Tom Decker align= Born in Boston in 1928, Flora Wong moved to a tiny village in Southern China with her family in 1936 at age seven. During the Communist Revolution, Flora escaped China through an arranged marriage in 1947. She and her husband, Charlie Wong, owned and operated Wing Shing Grocery on Main Street in Helena. In 1968, Charlie died, leaving Flora with five children. She operated the store until 1970. In 1973, she opened the Chinese Kitchen in partnership with George and Irene Wong.

In retirement, Flora took up competitive running and swimming. Through the years, she has participated in four National Senior Games and one World Senior Game. Flora was named Montana Big Sky Athlete of the Year in 1999. In 2009, the Helena Sports Hall of Fame named Flora to its list of honored athletes. She has completed the Portland Marathon four times.

Flora has four daughters, Bess, Gloria, Thel, Nancy, and one son, Poy. She is a very proud grandmother and great-grandmother.

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