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In San Francisco, an immigrant Chinese widow welcomes the new year with some unhappiness: she's 62 now, she wants to make a trip to China to pay last respects to her ancestors, a fortune teller has told her this is the year she'll die, and a daughter, Geraldine, remains unmarried. Geraldine does have a boyfriend, but she's not sure she's ready for marriage, and, anyway, he lives in Los Angeles and Geraldine doesn't want to leave her mother alone in her declining years. Mrs. Tan's cheerful brother-in-law tries to help out. Is there any solution that will enable Mrs. Tan to hold onto her culturally-influenced and deep-seated hopes, yet keep those hopes from suffocating Geraldine? Written by
This is a sweet old-fashioned and knowing valentine to Chinese American family life in San Francisco. In many ways, it seems like a predecessor to the Joy Luck Club, complete with Joan Chen as a young Mah Jongg player. The pace here is somewhat leisurely, but the vignettes are warm and satisfying enough to sustain interest throughout.
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