The Ninja Daughter (Lily Wong)
by Tori Eldridge

Published: 2019-11-05
Paperback : 320 pages
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The Ninja Daughter is an action-packed thriller about a Chinese-Norwegian modern-day ninja with Joy Luck Club family issues who fights the Los Angeles Ukrainian mob, sex traffickers, and her own family to save two desperate women and an innocent child.

After her sister is raped and ...

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The Ninja Daughter is an action-packed thriller about a Chinese-Norwegian modern-day ninja with Joy Luck Club family issues who fights the Los Angeles Ukrainian mob, sex traffickers, and her own family to save two desperate women and an innocent child.

After her sister is raped and murdered, Lily Wong dedicates her life and ninja skills to the protection of women. But her mission is complicated. Not only does she live above the Chinese restaurant owned by her Norwegian father and inspired by the recipes of her Chinese mother, but she has to hide her true self from her Hong Kong tiger mom who is already disappointed in her daughter's less than feminine ways, and who would be horrified to know what she had become.

But when a woman and her son she escorted safely to an abused women’s shelter return home to dangerous consequences, Lily is forced to not only confront her family and her past, but team up with a mysterious?and very lethal?stranger to rescue them.

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While Ma scrutinized me with a critical eye, Baba observed everything without judgment. As a result, he tended to see things most people missed. I didn’t think he suspected what I did when I wasn’t helping in the restaurant or assisting his neighborhood friends with their oh-so-urgent internet needs, but I couldn’t be certain: Midwesterners held their cards pretty dang close to the chest. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

The Ninja Daughter has powerful themes of family, identity, culture, and empowerment—all of which provide fertile grounds for meaningful discussion. Here are ten topics to inspire your book club discussion. Check The Ninja Daughter book club page on Tori’s website for fun content, ideas, and recipes to turn your event into a ninja Dumpling party!

1. Lily’s father (Vern Knudsen AKA Baba) gives his daughters his wife’s Chinese surname to make peace with his in-laws and root Lily and Rose in their Chinese ancestry. What do you think about this decision? How much impact does a name have on a person’s identity? When Baba says, “I don’t need a name to tell me who I love and who loves me,” how does this statement make you feel?

2. Lily’s perception of her mother changes over the course of this book. Do you predict Lily and Ma growing closer or always having a wall between them? How much of their mother-daughter issues stem from Ma’s Hong Kong culture? Can you relate?

3. Lily’s maternal grandfather (Gung-Gung) needs a male descendant to perform ancestral worship for him and his ancestors after he’s gone. Without it, he believes his soul will roam without honor. To this end, he places enormous pressure on Lily’s mother and to a subtler degree on Lily. Do his beliefs seem superstitious and archaic, or reasonable given his culture? Have people ever challenged or dismissed your beliefs? Who in your family has the greatest cultural influence?

4. Domestic abuse is a complicated issue. How do you think the author handled this subject matter? Do you agree with Lily that timing of when to leave must come from the inside and that forcing action at the wrong time can be ineffective and/or dangerous? What experiences have you had or witnessed that support your opinion?

5. J Tran is an enigmatic assassin with a deadly fascination for Lily. Her opinions and emotional reactions to him change constantly throughout the book. What feelings did you have about Tran? Did they change as often as Lily’s. How did you feel about his decisions at the end? Do you think Lily is in danger of becoming like Tran?

6. Lily calls Daniel Kwok the perfect Chinese son. How do you feel about him? Is he the right man for Lily, or does she need a more dangerous suitor?

7. The author, Tori Eldridge, is an actual modern-day Ninja who holds a 5th degree black belt in To-Shin Do Ninjutsu and has taught modern applications for the ancient art of the Ninja for decades. How does her portrayal of Ninja compare with your own perceptions? What did you find fascinating and/or surprising? If you train in ninjutsu (or another martial art), what techniques did you recognize?

8. Sensei tells Lily to “guard her center.” What do you think he means? Is it good advice? Did any of Sensei’s words, lessons, or wisdom resonate with you?

9. During one of Lily’s meditations, she discovers this bit of wisdom: “Never become so attached to following the path that you cease to question whether you should still be on it.” How do you feel about this statement? Have you felt` similarly attached?

10. The Ninja Daughter is enriched by empowering lessons and wisdom gained from Sensei, Baba, and Farmor. Here’s a quote from Lily. “I learned three valuable lessons that day: Never assume a person wanted help. The weakest one in a fight was often the most dangerous. And no one was truly unarmed until they were lying in a morgue.” Is there a particular bit of wisdom that made an impact on you? What’s your favorite quote from The Ninja Daughter?

Invite Tori to your book club (in person or video) and enhance your book club experience with recipes, tea, gift ideas, and added content. You’ll find everything you need on Tori’s website book club page at ToriEldridge.com

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