I strayed outside of my typical book comfort zone for this emotional story of immigration, the bond between a mother and a son, and finding home. The book was slow at times but Lisa Ko tells a beautiful, albeit heart wrenching, story that is politically relevant.
The first part of the book is about a young undocumented Chinese immigrant woman named Polly who comes to New York pregnant and the early years of her American born son Deming's childhood. Polly dreams of a better life and one day doesn't come home, abandoning Deming. The remainder of the book alternates between Deming's story in third person and Polly's in first as Deming adjusts to his new life with a white foster couple in an all-white school. He ultimately searches for his mother.
This story stuck with me and the constant references to "Deming and Mama" had me choking back tears but I found the characters of this book difficult to love. They both made questionable choices that I had a hard time relating to, but maybe that was the point.
Best drink pairing: Baijiu (the most consumed alcohol in the world, and even made locally in OR at Vinn Distillery)