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A thread of sky
Deanna Fei
Adult Fiction FEI

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From Publishers' Weekly:

When Irene Shen's husband of 30 years walks out on her, she says, "Good riddance," only to learn hours later that he's been killed in a car accident. Stunned by the chain of events and dreading her imminent empty-nester status, Irene concocts a plan to strengthen blood ties through a family tour of China. But Irene's 80-year-old mother, Lin Yulan, in her youth a feminist revolutionary during the Chinese civil war, balks at returning to China, and Irene's three daughters-Nora, a successful bond trader; Kay, a social activist; and Sophie, a talented artist-are distracted by their own troubles. The characters are sympathetic and draw the reader easily into their tangled lives, but despite Fei's obvious talent, this debut has the feel of M.F.A. fiction. The hoary dictum "write what you know" hovers above every page of this novel. The story unfurls smoothly, yet never really touches the heart. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In her first novel, Fei examines the lives of three generations of a Chinese family living in the United States. The six women go on a two-week tour of China, prompted by Irene Shen, whose husband died suddenly in an accident a few months earlier. Corralling her three unwilling daughters, her sister, and her mother, Irene books a tour that she hopes will bring the family closer. However, as the trip progresses, each woman broods on her own secrets-most of which have to do with betrayals by the men in their lives-and explodes at the others. Everywhere they go, they encounter bad weather and swarms of vendors trying to hawk souvenirs. Nonetheless, by the end-assisted by a bout of food poisoning-the women gain a better understanding of themselves and their family. Verdict With its mother-daughter conflicts, a feminist message, and an exploration of Chinese roots, this novel will appeal to fans of Amy Tan as well as readers who generally enjoy the novels about immigrants like those by Julia Alvarez, Gish Jen, and Gus Lee.-Andrea Kempf, Johnson County Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Irene Shen
Tries to reconnect with her daughters; heads to China.

Nora Shen
Daughter of Irene.
Wall Street analyst

Kay Shen
Daughter of Irene; in Beijing studying Chinese.

Sophie Shen
Daughter of Irene; going to college.

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