Jennifer J. Chow, a Chinese-American, married into the Taiwanese culture. The 228 Legacy was inspired by the family stories she heard after viewing photos of a two-million-person human chain commemorating 228. She has traveled multiple times to Taiwan and visited places dedicated to the incident. Her experience with the elderly comes from a gerontology specialization at Cornell University and her geriatric social work experience. You can visit her online at jenniferjchow.com.
The 228 Legacy Book Description:
Three generations in an all-female Taiwanese family living near Los Angeles in 1980 are each guarding personal secrets.
Grandmother Silk finds out that she has breast cancer, as daughter Lisa loses her job, while pre-teen granddaughter Abbey struggles with a school bully. When Silk’s mysterious past comes out—revealing a shocking historical event that left her widowed—the truth forces the family to reconnect emotionally and battle their problems together.
A novel of cultural identity and long-standing secrets, The 228 Legacy weaves together multigenerational viewpoints, showing how heritage and history can influence individual behavior and family bonds.
Buy it here at amazon.com.
Now on to an amazing piece by Jennifer J. Chow!
My favorite part of the evening arrived after consuming the elaborate Chinese New Year feast. Roast duck, shark fin soup, thousand-year-old egg. Per tradition, every family member was handed a thin gold strip of paper and a permanent marker. We stood around my parents’ rickety porch under the twinkling Christmas lights, reflecting on the past year and scribbling down our future hopes. After we finished writing, we marched to the back of the yard, unbolted a door hidden by trumpet vine flowers, and snuck into the adjacent country club, heading toward the man-made lake.
My dad, the last to arrive, lugged a huge box filled with paper lanterns and a kerosene can. We dipped our papers into the fuel. My mother handed out the matches. We lit the golden strips and placed them in the containers on the count of three. The dazzling procession of sky lanterns floated upward, casting a brilliant glow on the water below.
We didn’t tell each other our wishes or even admit them to ourselves. My pen wrote down, “I hope to be beautiful,” and the sentence surprised me. I hadn’t thought about my looks since the sixth grade, when I hid my flat feet beneath long flowing skirts and begged for contacts and a set of Invisalign braces.
I watched my lantern float away on the soft breeze, my words turning into ashes.
“Come on, beautiful,” I heard my dad whisper. I turned towards him, smiling in the darkness at his uncanny ability to read my mind. Then I saw him put his arm around my mother, who stood beside me, and say, “Let’s go back.”