When Hua Wu arrives in New York City, her life seems destined to resemble that of countless immigrants before her. She spends her hectic days in a restaurant in Chinatown, and her lonesome nights in a noisy, crowded tenement, yearning for those she left behind. But one day in a park in the West Village, Hua meets Jane Templeton and her daughter, Lily, a two-year-old adopted from China. Eager to expose Lily to the language and culture of her birth country, Jane hires Hua to be her nanny.
Hua soon finds herself in a world far removed from the cramped streets of Chinatown or her grandmother’s home in Fuzhou, China. Jane, a museum curator of Asian art, and her husband, a theater critic, are cultured and successful. They pull Hua into their circle of family and friends until she is deeply attached to Lily and their way of life. But when cracks show in the family’s perfect façade, what will Hua do to protect the little girl who reminds her so much of her own past? A beautiful and revelatory novel, Happy Family is the promising debut of a perceptive and graceful writer.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was beautifully written and I loved Hua's viewpoint. The author did not do enough research on American adoption of Chinese children. She got some of the details wrong, and I think it was arrogant to assume that bringing these little girls to the US will not necessarily give them a better life and that they will not enjoy the love of an extended family. Unlike the China the world saw at the Beijing Olympics, the China I saw when I went to rescue my daughter from indifference, lack of much needed medical care and no future was one of staggering poverty and hopelessness. Every American family of adopted Chinese daughters that I know go to great lengths to give their children a knowledge and pride of their Chinese culture, while giving them the opportunity for world class medical care, a first rate education through college and a loving family that may not look like them, but love them dearly. Still, I recommend the book, the writing is excellent, Hua's story is intriguing and I would like to hear more about her life.