This is a good book.
A sad one and an important one very relevant to our world today.
Vivid, clear, engaging and moving.
The book is told from the point of view of the two main characters and in their “voices”. The tale moves between these voices.
There is the story of a young Chinese woman with an individualistic streak, who dreams of making her own way in life, forgoing the future mapped out for her. We learn how she arrives in the USA, saddled with debt to those who brought her there, how she is taken advantage of as a worker, striving to pay off these debts. Her son is born in the US…
The other voice is that of the son. One day, when he was in the fifth grade, his mother vanishes. No one knows what happened to her. No one can explain to him why his mother abandoned him and his whole life turned upside down. He is adopted by well-meaning people who bring him into an environment with no diversity, he is the only who looks different despite his new American name. The feeling of exhaustion arising just from being so conspicuous every single day wherever he goes is just one of the several issues that could be discussed while reading the book.
What happens to each of these characters unfolds as you read on.
I believe the book would be even better if it were a little shorter – more focused. I found that when the story was told from the point of view of the son it was a bit too long, belaboring details that were clear. I did not have this issue during the parts told by the mother.
I certainly recommend the book.