Claire and her mother are running out of time, but they don’t know it.
Claire is wrapped up with the difficulties of her bourgeoning adulthood—boys, school, friends, identity.
Claire’s mother, a single mom, is rushed off her feet both at work and at home.
They rarely find themselves in the same room at the same time, and it often seems that the only thing they can count on are notes to each other on the refrigerator door.
When home is threatened by a crisis, their relationship experiences a momentous change.
Adeline Yen Mah is born into an affluent and powerful family in China, but her life is made miserable from the moment she is born. After her mother dies giving birth to her, Adeline’s family labels her “bad luck,” causing her to grow up with the guilt that she alone is responsible for her mother’s death. Things at home get even worse when Adeline’s father remarries. Restricted to one small area of the house, Adeline and her natural siblings are mistreated while their stepbrother and stepsister receive special treatment. An outstanding student and the winner of many academic awards, Adeline revels in the praise she receives from her Aunt Baba and grandfather, Ye Ye, and lives with the hope that her father might someday be proud of her.