Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
English | 2019 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 2.3 Mb
Searching for Sylvie Lee: A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears, and a series of family secrets emerge, from the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in TranslationIt begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes.
Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love.
But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined.
A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love.
“The woman taps a manicured nail against the countertop. Her tone is both irritated and condescending, as if she’s speaking to a child who has misbehaved. “It’s not really the quality we expect, especially after your prices went up.”
“So sorry,” Ma repeats.
I glare at the woman’s bony back. I want to tell her that the owner hiked up the prices. Ma had nothing to do with it. She’s never even gotten a raise in the long years she’s worked here—standing on her feet all day, lifting heavy bundles of clothing, steaming, ironing, and mending. But I keep my mouth shut. I wait until the customer finishes berating Ma and leaves.
A smile lights up Ma’s face, despite her grief, when she sees me. Even though I can understand some Chinese, I never learned to speak it well, so Ma always talks to me in English. “Amy, why you here?”
I had resolved not to worry her but find myself grabbing her wrist, crumpling her thin polyester blouse. “Cousin Lukas just called. He says Sylvie flew home this past weekend, but she’s not picking up her phone.”
“Ay yah.” Ma covers her mouth with her other hand. Her large dark eyes show too much white. “She not tell us she coming home. She must be okay. Just a mistake. You call ah-Jim?”
“I tried all the way here but he’s not answering. There haven’t been any plane crashes or anything, right?”