AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick
The New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet returns with a powerful exploration of the love that binds a family across the generations in "one of the most beautiful books of motherhood and what we pass on to those that come after us" (Jenna Bush Hager, Today). Dorothy Moy breaks her own heart for a living.
As Washington's former poet laureate, that's how she describes channeling her dissociative episodes and mental health struggles into her art. But when her five-year-old daughter exhibits similar behavior and begins remembering things from the lives of their ancestors, Dorothy believes the past has come to haunt her. Fearing that her child is predestined to endure the same debilitating depression that has marked her own life, Dorothy seeks radical help.
Through an experimental treatment designed to mitigate inherited trauma, Dorothy intimately connects with past generations of women in her family: Faye Moy, a nurse in China serving with the Flying Tigers; Zoe Moy, a student in England at a famous school with no rules; Lai King Moy, a girl quarantined in San Francisco during a plague epidemic; Greta Moy, a tech executive with a unique dating app; and Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to set foot in America.
As the painful recollections affect her present life, Dorothy discovers that trauma isn't the only thing she's inherited. A stranger is searching for her in each time period—a stranger who's loved her through all of her genetic memories. Can Dorothy break the cycle of pain and abandonment to finally find peace for her daughter and love for herself? Or will she end up paying the ultimate price?
"For Jamie Ford fans both old and new, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is an unmitigated pleasure" (Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author) and a lyrical love story unlike any other.