From the Publisher
“Delicately fashioned . . . Evocative.” The New York Times Book Review
“Tsukiyama tells a quietly powerful and understated story of women finding their way in the world, and the strength they derive from family ties.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Grows in richness as it proceeds, a paean to the sustaining pleasures of family.” Booklist
“Tsukiyama writes with great sensory detail, allowing her reader to touch, taste, and feel the world she creates.” Library Journal
“With unexpected poignancy . . . Tsukiyama skillfully demonstrates how the strength of family bonds can provide spiritual sustenance.” Publishers Weekly
A work of historical fiction, Tsukiyama's (Samurai's Garden, LJ 2/15/95) latest novel contains several strong female characters. Set during the onset of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in 1940, it first introduces readers to sisters Joan and Emma Lew, ages 14 and nine. The girls, with their servant Foon and their mother's first cousin, Auntie Go, all live "privileged" lives together in Hong Kong until they decide to flee from the imposing Japanese and emigrate to Macao, leaving their father behind to watch the family home. At the war's end, the family returns to Hong Kong with the intention of rebuilding and reclaiming their lives. Culminating in the year 1965, this novel follows its characters through 15 years of growth, maturity, and self-discovery. The ending is a bit rushed, leaving the sisters' characters slightly underdeveloped (and perhaps allowing room for a sequel?). But because Tsukiyama writes with great sensory detail, allowing her reader to touch, taste, and feel the world she creates, the work does remain a satisfying read. Recommended for Asian American and larger fiction collections.Shirley N. Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Fountain Valley, Cal.