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Happy Family: A Novel by Wendy Lee
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Happy Family: A Novel

by Wendy Lee

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 2 of 2
  asianamlitfans | Nov 25, 2011 |
good read but not great ( )
  steoff51 | Oct 26, 2008 |
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no reviews | add a review
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For my parents and in memory of my grandfather
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Dear Lily, I am writing to you from the beach in California.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802170463, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:05 -0400)

"Happy family" is not just the name of a dish on a Chinese menu--it also refers ironically to the relationships that Hua Wu discovers in her new home, New York City. Originally from Fuzhou, China, Hua Wu spends most of her time missing her homeland and her grandmother before connecting in a West Village park with Jane Templeton and her daughter, Lily, who was adopted from China. Soon, the young Chinese woman leaves her restaurant job to nanny for Jane and Richard, Jane's husband. A strong bond quickly grows between Hua Wu and Lily; when the familial facade finally fractures, Hua Wu takes the steps that she believes are necessary to protect Lily.… (more)

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