“A marvel of a first novel” (O, The Oprah Magazine) about motherhood, immigration, and identity, in which a Chinese woman makes her way to California to give her baby U.S. citizenship, and her harrowing yet heart-warming journey redefines what it means to be an American.
Scarlett Chen is on the run. On her own since she was a teenager, this Chinese factory clerk has changed jobs, friends, and even her history again and again. Now she’s eight months pregnant and stranded in Los Angeles. Her married lover—also her boss—sent her to a secret maternity center to give birth, thus bestowing their baby with a priceless advantage: U.S. citizenship. But when she is betrayed by her lover, she flees, setting off a hunt for her and her unborn baby. In the stolen getaway van, Scarlett discovers a pregnant teenage stowaway, another escapee from the maternity center. Hiding out in San Francisco’s Chinatown, they must reinvent themselves. In pursuit, Scarlett’s lover treks from a crumbling Chinese village to a Silicon Valley genetics lab. He must decide where his true loyalties, and greatest love, lie—and Scarlett must stop running and commit to a future.