Under the repressive Mao regime, the Wangs decide to leave China. Qian’s parents are highly educated, but as illegal immigrants in the U.S., they can only take on menial work. Without papers they are trapped in a cycle of poverty, discrimination, and a fear of being deported. This takes a toll on her parents’ relationship with each other. Meanwhile, Qian starts school, but receives little support to help her learn English. Through children’s books, she begins to understand and teaches herself how to read. But can the family keep living a life where they fear they may be sent back to China?
This memoir is an insight into the lives of illegal immigrants and the endless hardships that seem impossible to overcome.
Yolanda is haunted by the violent past she left behind in apartheid South Africa, but when she hears her mother calling her back, she knows she must return to Cape Town and face the daughter she abandoned twenty years ago. At her mother’s house, she learns of her mother’s disappearance and soon finds out that her daughter, Ingrid has discovered the secrets her family kept hidden from her since birth. Ingrid is furious and leaves Cape Town to meet a father, Stefan, she was told was dead. But she’s unaware of the violence stirred up by the coming elections, and the white hatred against the black majority who will take over the government. When Yolanda uncovers the danger Ingrid faces, she knows she must save her daughter before she reaches Stefan’s house. Will she arrive there in time?
A few years after the end of WW11, Noriko stands at the entrance to her grandmother’s mansion in Kyoto. Her mother has driven away, and she has no choice but to enter the property with her few belongings. Her grandmother hides her in the attic where she is ordered to stay and not venture into any other part of the house. No one should see her because she is an illegitimate child to an American father ruining the family’s prestigious name. When she is ten, her half-brother, Akiri arrives after his father’s death and her lonely life begins to improve, but will their stern grandmother allow Noriko to escape her seclusion?
Carroll’s well written memoir begins when she is a child given up for adoption by her white mother to a white family in New Hampshire where she is the only black child. Her childhood is carefree until she not only grows aware of the underlining prejudice of both teenage boys and their parents but reconnects with her controlling birth mother. Carroll’s journey is one of discovering her identity through perseverance and overcoming racist obstacles in her path.