I enjoyed Girl in Translation so much that I didn't want to wait to read Kwok's second novel. This one, as the title suggests, takes place in Chinatown, and the heroine in an American Born Chinese, rather than an immigrant. Charlie Wong is not as phenomenally brilliant as Kimberly Chang from GiT. In fact, she's 22 and working as a dishwasher. She hasn't been able to hold any office jobs because of her (undiagnosed) dyslexia. Still, when her phenomenally brilliant younger sister encourages Charlie to apply for a receptionist gig at a dance studio, she does, and she gets the job.
Some of what ensues is predictable, and some less so. You don't mind the former.
I was braced for western medicine to swoop in and save the daughter of a superstitious immigrant, but don't worry, that's not what happens. I was happy to see Kimberly Chang make a brief appearance and to know that she's doing well.
There are some good Lao Tzu quotations, including this one:
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
I already loved Jean Kwok, but if I hadn't I'd have been won over by the last sentence of her acknowledgments for the book, "And I must mention our three cats, Anibaba, Sushi and Timoto, who did a great job of lying across my keyboard to keep it warm."