cover image The 228 Legacy

The 228 Legacy

Jennifer J. Chow. Martin Sisters, $16.95 trade paper (322p) ISBN 978-1-62553-039-4

Members of three generations of a Taiwanese family—widow Silk, her daughter, Lisa, and her granddaughter, Abbey—are embroiled in their own personal struggles, but the three of them come together as Silk’s difficult battle with breast cancer upends her life and forces her to open up to a daughter with whom she has little in common. Set in Los Angeles in 1980, Chow depicts how each woman must face the parts of their lives that do not measure up, from Silk’s stony reserve and refusal to address past hurts, to Lisa’s unwillingness to commit herself to any particular path, to Abbey’s struggle to fit in with peers who see her as an outsider. As the three face their own personal demons, their growth also allows them to open up more fully to one another, changing the way that they see one another even as their separate worldviews begin to evolve. While this story is touching in its depiction of the characters’ changing relationships, the language of the narrative is literal and spare, favoring simplicity and precision over metaphor and elegance, which makes the dialogue seem stilted, formal, and sometimes awkward. Still, this is a pleasant read. [em](BookLife) [/em]