In a powerful novel that captures the struggle of the immigrant experience, Wendy Lee explores one family’s hidden history and unspoken hurts, and the universal themes of identity, family, and finding a place to call home. After his father's death, Michael Tang finds a letter sent to his dad from a long-ago friend in China. Without a word to his mother or sister, he decides to make the long journey to a remote part of that enormous country. Once there, he begins to learn about the man his father once was, and how long-ago choices continue to echo throughout all of their lives.
Michael’s sister Emily is an immigration lawyer living in Manhattan and married to a white American. Her only connections to China are her family and her work. But when a case ends horribly she starts to question the choices she’s made. Their mother, Ling, worries that she's somehow driven her children away.
Though they are living the lives Ling and her husband sacrificed so much to give them, all three must decide where their happiness truly lies.