this book centers on the life of Lue Gim Gong. he leaves his home and family to make a better life for all of them in america. the narrative switches between gong's mother, his patron in america, ms. fanny, and sheba, a daughter of slaves who comes to work in ms. fanny's house in florida. i enjoyed the different points of view and the glimpses into each woman's life, but Faith, this was SUCH a depressing read. it seemed to me that for every piece of good fortune these families experienced, they suffered yet more loss. from the prejudices of the superstitious clans in china, to those against asians, african americans and women, reading the stories of these women made me appreciate my own life, and made me realize how very much i take for granted.