The Home Song Stories

The moving story of a Chinese woman who came to Australia in the midsixties. A tale based on true events, told from her children's perspective. In 1964, Hong Kong nightclub singer Rose Hong marries an Australian seaman. She and her two children, Tom and May, return to Australia with him to settle down in his native Victoria. But, shortly after becoming an Austra lian citizen, Rose leaves her husband and moves to Sydney where she spends seven years working in Chinese restaurants and has several unhappy affairs. She goes back to her husband, Bill, in 1971, and moves with him, the children and Bill's mother Norma to a suburb of Melbourne - until she loses the battle for supremacy to her mother-in-law, who throws her out of the house. She then moves in with Joe, a Chinese cook who is Rose's junior by twenty years, who in fact gets on much better with her daughter, May. Rose misinterprets Joe and May's friendly rapport, and this makes life together impossible. The relationship between mother and daughter now in ruins, it only begins to improve when Rose tells May about her terrible experiences in Shanghai in the 50s. For the first time, May starts to comprehend the reasons for her mother's unsettled nature ...
by Tony Ayres
with Joan Chen, Qi Yuwu, Joel Lok, Irene Chen, Steve Vidler, Kerry Walker, Darren Yap, Annette Shun Wah
Australia 2006 103’

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