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Lee's debut novel is the heartfelt story of Hua Wu, a young Chinese immigrant who comes to New York City and serendipitously becomes a nanny to an adopted Chinese girl, Lily Templeton-Walker, after meeting her American mother, Jane, in the park. Hua becomes attached to the child and involved in the family, but is disturbed when she uncovers trouble in Jane's marriage. She begins to snoop around her employers' apartment hoping to discover the reason behind the turmoil; the more she finds the more she fears what will happen if Lily's parents separate. This drama takes second stage when Hua meets Evan, the man with whom she wrongly assumed Jane was having an affair. Hua and Evan have an odd one-night stand, during which the author flashes back to Hua's sexual encounter with a teacher in China. Hua's memory of Teacher Zhang leads to a revelation about her past, which prompts Hua to attempt to protect Lily from the pain of her parents' conflict-a rare instance in which Hua takes action. Unfortunately, Lee's impassioned storytelling is unable to make up for prose that is at times overwritten and melodramatic. The passive and often stereotypical characters make this portrait of a Chinese immigrant feel simplistic and uninspired. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.