Like its predecessor Daughters of Hui, Xu Xi’s third book probes the gender issue. Hong Kong Rose is devoted entirely to the dilemma of Rose Kho. Born of a Chinese-Indonesian family, Rose lives perpetually under pressure from her family, her in-laws, and even Helen and Uncle Chong, who are Western and liberal-minded. As a result, she feels obliged to remain in her marriage to Paul, her bisexual husband whose sexual orientation was revealed to her only after they get married – and drag on her secret affair with Elliot, her American lover. She tries to convince herself that she has made a “pretty picture of life – family, marriage, social standing, a good job”:
That was the problem with life in Hong Kong. Everything was about what we speculated and guessed, not what we knew.
Citation: Lai, Amy. "Hong Kong Rose". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2003 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=12474, accessed 08 December 2023.]