A River of Stars

A River of Stars

A Novel

Book - 2018
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"In a powerful debut novel about motherhood, immigration, and identity, a pregnant Chinese woman makes her way to California and stakes a claim to the American dream. Holed up with other moms-to-be in a secret maternity home in Los Angeles, Scarlett Chenis far from her native China, where she worked in a factory job and fell in love with the owner, Boss Yeung. Now she's carrying his baby. Already married with three daughters, he's overjoyed because the doctors confirmed he will finally have the son he has always wanted. To ensure that his son has every advantage, he has shipped Scarlett off to give birth on American soil. U.S. citizenship will open doors for their little prince. As Scarlett awaits the baby's arrival, she chokes down bitter medicinal stews and spars with her imperious housemates. The only one who fits in even less is Daisy, a spirited teenager and fellow unwed mother who is being kept apart from her American boyfriend. Then a new sonogram of Scarlett's baby reveals the unexpected. Panicked, she escapes by hijacking a van--only to discover that she has a stowaway: Daisy, who intends to track down the father of her child. They flee to San Francisco's bustling Chinatown, where Scarlett will join countless immigrants desperately trying toseize their piece of the American dream. What Scarlett doesn't know is that her baby's father is not far behind her. --
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780399178788
Characteristics: 292 pages :,illustration ;,25 cm.


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Mar 12, 2021

Enjoyable read. The ending is ridiculously unbelievable.

Mar 05, 2020

I really really liked the story of Scarlett and Daisy and think I would have loved the book if it had stayed focused on them. But about a quarter of the way through, the narrative started switching between them and the father of Scarlett’s child [Boss Yeung], and occasional input from another character, and I just didn’t find that terribly engaging. I really liked Hua’s writing, and the way she developed the bond between Scarlett and Daisy and wished the book had been more focused on them.

May 14, 2019

I really enjoyed this book! It’s one of the only books I’ve read from an Asian immigrant’s point of view. The end felt a little rushed, but it’s a great story!

Mar 30, 2019

Following the story of a Chinese woman who was sent to the US to bear her lover’s child, who would be a US citizen, this book documents what it is like to a foreigner who is afraid of being caught by ICE. Scarlett flees the home for pregnant Chinese women in which she has been imprisoned. Going to San Francisco’s Chinatown, she creates a life for herself and her baby daughter. Although the ending seemed a little too easy, I love books that end happily.

Oct 18, 2018

I had mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it takes off like a freight train. But then it slows as it makes the long pull into the station. Upon arrival, everyone gets off in a hurry.

As I was reading I wondered what I could say about this book without revealing any spoilers. I asked myself, What would George do? Orwell, I think, would have drawn a comparison to the two protagonists and the social milieu from which they came before their resettlement in the United States. One has had a hard scrabble life in mainland China while the other is a daughter of affluence raised in Taiwan. While both women can be considered Chinese, their sub-cultures differ greatly. More could have been made of this fact, however the characters' sub-cultural differences were only superficially addressed. Perhaps that was for the best, since other details explored the complexity of arriving from one culture and settling into another.

The novel had every reason to end in some degree of tragedy. However, it reminded me far too much of Horatio Alger's version of the American Dream.

debwalker Jul 19, 2018

I have met women in this situation. Here in Toronto. The tough road for women caught up in the birth tourism game. Strong reviews.

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