Beautiful as Yesterday
Stretching from mid-century China to the United States at the turn of the millennium, Beautiful as Yesterday explores issues of identity, of family and friendship, love and loss. Written in beautifully crafted prose, this is a penetrating exploration of what it means to belong, and the impact of history and memories on one’s life.
Reading Group Guide
Mary Chang, a Chinese immigrant living in Northern California, is a devoted wife, mother, churchgoer, and a high-tech professional. She is torn between fulfilling her filial duty as the oldest child and admitting her true feelings towards these obligations. Mary’s lukewarm relationship with her fifth-generation Chinese husband and her estranged sister, a political self-exile who prefers her bohemian friends’ Latin culture to her own, only complicate things further. And when her widowed mother, Wang Fenglan, a state factory retiree, travels from China to the United States for the first time at Mary’s request to explore the possibility of emigrating, she awkwardly reunites the family and unknowingly stirs up buried family tensions and secrets.
Stretching from mid-century China to both of the coasts of the U.S. at the turn of the millennium, Beautiful as Yesterday explores issues of immigration, acculturation, family, friend see more