Book Club

Book Club’s next reads are ‘Our Missing Hearts’ and ‘Borderless’

Join the virtual discussion with authors Celeste Ng and Jennifer De Leon at the upcoming Globe Summit.

Authors Celeste Ng and Jennifer De Leon join us on Sept. 19.

This September, the Book Club and our dedicated readers will join the Globe Summit for a conversation with award-winning authors Celeste Ng and Jennifer De Leon.

For the third year, Boston Globe Media will host a meeting of some of the most innovative leaders across industries. At last year’s Summit, the Book Club featured Ibram X. Kendi to discuss his book “How to Raise An Antiracist” with Boston Globe reporter Kara Baskin.

This year’s theme, Today’s Innovators. Tomorrow’s Leaders., will center conversations and panel discussions on how we can think boldly about our future, from technology to economy, culture, and more. 

Ng and De Leon join us virtually to discuss their latest novels, “Our Missing Hearts” and “Borderless.” Through their writing, both authors keep an eye toward the future, particularly through the eyes of adolescents. Both novels tell stories of young people who grapple with big global issues as well as complicated family relationships. 


Ng is a New York Times bestselling novelist famous for her books “Everything I Never Told You,” and “Little Fires Everywhere.” The Cambridge resident found her way to the area by way of Harvard University for an undergraduate degree in English and has gone on to win the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the Ohioana Award, and more. Her novel “Little Fires Everywhere” was adapted into a hit Hulu miniseries starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

Her most recent novel, “Our Missing Hearts” is a dystopian drama about 12-year-old Bird Gardner who goes on a quest to find his estranged mother. In the novel, economic chaos blamed on China’s market manipulation causes the U.S. government to enact laws to preserve “American culture.” Bird’s mother is a Chinese-American poet, making her a dissident, and putting him under suspicion of the authorities. When he receives a mysterious letter in the mail, he decides to stop rejecting his mother and her poems and instead seek her out. 

Although “Our Missing Hearts” takes place in a world separate from ours, it’s not hard to imagine the nation taking the dark turn Ng depicts. Kirkus Reviews called the novel “thoroughly engrossing and deeply moving.”


“Taut and terrifying, Ng’s cautionary tale transports us into an American tomorrow that is all too easy to imagine—and persuasively posits that the antidotes to fear and suspicion are empathy and love,” the publication wrote. 

“Borderless,” De Leon’s new young adult novel, doesn’t take place in an alternate reality but it’s no less engrossing. After a brush with gang violence in Guatemala, 17-year-old Maya leaves behind a promising fashion career to flee the country for the U.S. border with her mother. The novel is a raw portrait of the “dehumanizing experience of entering the U.S. as an asylum seeker” as well as a heart-warming mother-daughter story.

De Leon is also the author of the YA novel “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From.” She is also the author of “White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, & Writing,” which won the Juniper Prize from the University of Massachusetts Press. Her work on “Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education” won an International Latino Book Award. Boston has served as an important backdrop for her writing as she’s been the Associates of Boston Public Library’s writer-in-residence and an artist-in-residence for the City of Boston.


Join Celeste Ng and Jennifer De Leon on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 6 p.m., as they talk about their latest novels. Registration for this event and other Globe Summit discussions is free. 

Buy “Our Missing Hearts” from: Bookshop

Buy “Borderless” from: Bookshop

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