Named a Must-Read by TIME, Buzzfeed, The Wall Street Journal, InStyle, and O, The Oprah Magazine
‘Action-packed…a compelling family story’ USA Today
‘Lillian Li is a brilliant young writer and someone to watch’ Lorrie Moore
The popular Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland has been serving devoted regulars for decades, but behind the staff’s professional smiles simmer tensions, heartaches and grudges from decades of bustling restaurant life.
Owner Jimmy Han has ambitions for a new high-end fusion place, hoping to eclipse his late father’s homely establishment. Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny, is more concerned with restoring the dignity of the family name than his faltering relationship with his own teenaged daughter, Annie. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, yearn to turn their thirty-year friendship into something more, while Nan’s son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble.
When disaster strikes and Pat and Annie find themselves in a dangerous game that means tragedy for the Duck House, their families must finally confront the conflicts and loyalties simmering beneath the red and gold lanterns.