Stealing Time

Leslie Glass, Author Dutton Books $24.95 (340p) ISBN 978-0-525-94460-7
April Woo (Judging Time, 1998, etc.) straddles two incompatible worlds: As a detective sergeant in the NYPD, she must be ambitious and aggressive; as the daughter of superstitious, demanding Chinese parents, she must be obedient and deferential. These tensions are the most involving aspect of this novel heavy on plot and coincidence. When Heather Rose Papescu, the Chinese-American wife of an affluent lawyer, is beaten and her adopted baby vanishes, it seems a straightforward kidnapping case. But Heather refuses to identify her attacker, and she and her husband, Anton, cannot produce adoption papers. Woven into the story is the plight of deathly ill Lin Tsing, an illegal alien working in a Chinatown factory owned by Anton's brutal relatives; Lin feels betrayed by her cousin, Nanci, who, coincidentally, was April's childhood friend. April's investigation of a case involving interracial marriage, meanwhile, prompts guilt over her affair with Latino cop Mike Sanchez. As the search for an apparently illegitimate baby continues, April examines her relationship with her parents, comparing her sense of assimilation with Heather's, who has also rejected Chinese traditions, and with Nanci's, who lives within them. While this overpopulated, overschematized story ends on an up beat, it's the themes of shame, guilt and familial obedience that make it work. Agent, Nancy Yost. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1999
Release date: 02/01/1999
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-2384-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-58807-055-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 382 pages - 978-0-451-19965-2
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