This book is a collection of multiple parallel stories having no direct relation with each other. Four women from China who have recently moved in to America for different reasons, form a common group to wave off their insecurities in a foreign country. They wanted to overlook their pain of separation from their native place, and lost culture. They tried to inculcate the Chinese cultural values in their now American-Chinese children, and had considerable influence on their children.
Though at time, the book paced slow, but the rich Chinese culture, surely makes for that slowness. First half of the book cultivates each story in mother's perspective, where things are always in the hot pan from a mother-daughter relation. The second half of the book revisits all the stories in a new light, connecting the lacunae, and eventually making peace between those mothers and daughters.