The Year She Left Us

The Year She Left Us

3.31 (1,129 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From the winner of the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Prize--comes the extraordinary, unexpected debut tale of three generations of Chinese-American women in a San Francisco family who must confront their past and carve out a future.

The Kong women are in crisis. A disastrous trip to visit her "home" orphanage in China has plunged eighteen-year-old Ari into a self-destructive spiral. Her adoptive mother, Charlie, a lawyer with a great heart, is desperate to keep her daughter safe. Meanwhile, Charlie must endure the prickly scrutiny of her beautiful, Bryn Mawr educated mother, Gran--who, as the daughter of a cultured Chinese doctor, came to America to survive Mao's Revolution--and her sister, Les, a brilliant judge with a penchant to rule over everyone's lives.

As they cope with Ari's journey of discovery and its aftermath, the Kong women will come face to face with the truths of their lives--four powerful intertwining stories of accomplishment, tenacity, secrets, loneliness, and love. Beautifully illuminating the bonds of family and blood, The Year She Left Us explores the promise and pain of adoption, the price of assimilation and achievement, the debt we owe to others, and what we owe ourselves.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 326 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 476.27g
  • English
  • 0062273345
  • 9780062273345
  • 1,526,119

Back cover copy

The Kong women are in crisis. A disastrous trip to visit her "home" orphanage in China has plunged eighteen-year-old Ari into a self-destructive spiral. Her adoptive mother, Charlie, a lawyer with a great heart, is desperate to keep her daughter safe. Meanwhile, Charlie must endure the prickly scrutiny of her beautiful, Bryn Mawr-educated mother, Gran--who, as the daughter of a cultured Chinese doctor, came to America to survive Mao's Revolution--and her sister, Les, a brilliant judge with a penchant for ruling over everyone's lives.

As they cope with Ari's journey of discovery and its aftermath, the Kong women will come face-to-face with the truths of their lives--four powerful, intertwining stories of accomplishment, tenacity, secrets, loneliness, and love. Beautifully illuminating the bonds of family and blood, The Year She Left Us explores the promise and pain of adoption, the price of assimilation and achievement, the debt we owe to others, and what we owe to ourselves. Full of pathos and humor, featuring a quartet of unforgettable characters, it marks the debut of an important new voice in American fiction.
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Review quote

"Ma brings all sorts of relationships-mother-daughter, sister-sister, friend-friend-to vivid life. And she painstakingly conveys that we are never just one thing, and can never be fixed by just one formula."--Booklist
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Rating details

1,129 ratings
3.31 out of 5 stars
5 9% (98)
4 34% (380)
3 41% (462)
2 14% (155)
1 3% (34)
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