Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops Synopsis
Allison Hong isn’t a typical fifteen-year-old Taiwanese girl. Unwilling to bend to the conditioning of her Chinese culture, which demands that women submit to men’s will, she disobeys her father’s demand to stay in their faith tradition, Buddhism, and instead joins the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Six years later, she drops out of college to serve a mission—a decision for which her father disowns her.
After serving her mission in Taiwan, Allison marries her Chinese-speaking American boyfriend, Cameron Chastain. But just over a year later, Allison returns home to their Texas apartment and is shocked to discover that Cameron has taken all their money, moved out, and filed for divorce. Desperate for love and acceptance, Allison moves to Utah and enlists in an unforgiving dating war of her own making, pitting her against the bachelorettes at Brigham Young University. It doesn’t take long before she realizes the rules she’s made up don’t make sense—and winning isn’t what she thought it would be.
“The reader can’t help but hang onto her every word . . . A surprising but compelling memoir of resilience and family.”
“Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops is an enthralling and thought-provoking memoir . . . [A] charming aspect of the book is the beautiful representation of Taiwanese culture and Chinese history. Extensive details of rituals and traditions feel exotic . . . Merrill writes with intensity and simplicity; you cannot remain untouched.”
––Literary Titan, 5-star review