Author’s Notes


The True Story of Maria de la Torre
and Her Secret Life in a Hong Kong Go-Go Bar

As authors, our goal is to present Mary’s story. It is not our purpose to enter into moral judgments and believe it is for the reader to decide whether a moral comment warrants being made and, if so, where that line should be drawn. Such moral, philosophical, and social debate would be ideally addressed in a classroom or study group setting.

Discussion points might include:

Is Mary a victim of exploitation in this story?

What constitutes exploitation?

Does Mary have a duty/obligation to her family?

What is the difference between duty /obligation and sacrifice? (consider the answer in light of soldiers who are in a combat situation)

Does Mary have any responsibility for Marie (the girl at the end of the story) and, if so, what is it?

How does “free will” differ from “freedom”?

Is Mary more of a heroine than either Sheena or Baby? Why or why not?

How might a nature motif relate to the story? (Note that nature is a recurring motif in this work. The most prominent nature references are contained in the prologue and chapter titles and introductions: typhoon, dark clouds, green seas, baby butterfly, deep waters, bamboo, mudslide, barking dogs, mangoes, and birds in a cage.)