Synopses & Reviews
The award-winning author of How to Be an American Housewife returns with a poignant story of estranged sisters, forced together by family tragedy, who soon learn that sisterhood knows no limits.
Rachel and Drew Snow may be sisters, but their lives have followed completely different paths.
Married to a wonderful man and a mother to two strong-minded teens, Rachel hasnt returned to her childhood home since being kicked out by her strict father after an act of careless teenage rebellion. Drew, her younger sister, followed her passion for music but takes side jobs to make ends meet and longs for the stability that has always eluded her. Both sisters recall how close they were, but the distance between them seems more than they can bridge. When their deferential Japanese mother, Hikari, is diagnosed with dementia and gives Rachel power of attorney, Rachels domineering father, Killian becomes enraged.
In a rare moment of lucidity, Hikari asks Rachel for a book in her sewing room, and Rachel enlists her sisters help in the search. The bookwhich tells the tale of real-life female samurai Tomoe Gozen, an epic saga of love, loss, and conflict during twelfth-century Japanreveals truths about Drew and Rachels relationship that resonate across the centuries, connecting them in ways that turn their differences into assets.
A lively and surprising novel about a Japanese woman with a closely guarded secret, the American daughter who strives to live up to her mother's standards, and the rejuvenating power of forgiveness.
How to Be an American Housewife is a novel about mothers and daughters, and the pull of tradition. It tells the story of Shoko, a Japanese woman who married an American GI, and her grown daughter, Sue, a divorced mother whose life as an American housewife hasn't been what she'd expected. When illness prevents Shoko from traveling to Japan, she asks Sue to go in her place. The trip reveals family secrets that change their lives in dramatic and unforeseen ways. Offering an entertaining glimpse into American and Japanese family lives and their potent aspirations, this is a warm and engaging novel full of unexpected insight.
A mother-daughter story about the strong pull of tradition, and the lure and cost of breaking free of it.
When Shoko decided to marry an American GI and leave Japan, she had her parents' blessing, her brother's scorn, and a gift from her husband-a book on how to be a proper American housewife.
As she crossed the ocean to America, Shoko also brought with her a secret she would need to keep her entire life...
Half a century later, Shoko's plans to finally return to Japan and reconcile with her brother are derailed by illness. In her place, she sends her grown American daughter, Sue, a divorced single mother whose own life isn't what she hoped for. As Sue takes in Japan, with all its beauty and contradictions, she discovers another side to her mother and returns to America unexpectedly changed and irrevocably touched.
Journeying from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul, and back, this is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean American debut
For Jane Re, half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place shes been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, Jane toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncles grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, shes thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops, and nineteenthcentury novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazers feminist lectures and Ed Farleys very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Eds blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.
Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is. Re Jane is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for ones self.
A powerful and wholly original American saga.” San Francisco Chronicle
Bich Minh Nguyens previous booksthe acclaimed memoir Stealing Buddhas Dinner and the American Book Awardwinning novel Short Girlsestablished her talents as a writer of keen cultural observation. In Pioneer Girl, Nguyen entwines the Asian American experience with the escapist pleasures of literature, in a dazzling mystery about the origins of Laura Ingalls Wilders classic Little House on the Prairie.
Lee Lien has long dodged her Vietnamese familys rigid expectations by immersing herself in books. But now, jobless with a PhD in literature, she is back at home, working in her familys restaurant under her mothers hypercritical gazeuntil an heirloom from their past sends Lee on a search for clues that may lead back to Wilder herself, transforming strangers lives as well as her own.
About the Author
Patricia Park was born and raised in New York City. She earned her BA in English from Swarthmore College and an MFA in Fiction from Boston University, where she studied with Ha Jin and Allegra Goodman. A former Fulbright Scholar and Emerging Writer Fellow at the Center for Fiction, she has published essays in The New York Times, Slice, and The Guardian.