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There's Chan Sam, the husband from afar to Huangbo, the "at-home" wife who survived the Japanese occupation of China and the rule of Mao Zedong while rasing their son and the concubine's two Canadian-born children left in her care. There's May-ying, who supported the struggling Chan Sam and the family in China on wages earned on the waitressing circuit of West Coast tea houses. The concubine's third daughter, Hing, the author's mother, grew up on this side of the ocean. It was she who unlocked the past for her daughter, whose curiosity about some old photographs ultimately reunited a family divided for most of this century.