An elegant and sweeping story of a Chinese family’s history, trace follows the footsteps of four generations as their homes and identities are challenged. Jeff Ho brings life to his great grandmother, grandmother, and mother through considerate storytelling as they recount their pasts, leading to a paralleled present.
Great Grandmother fled the Japanese during World War II by escaping China into Hong Kong, a traumatic event that’s rippled down the family line. Grandmother married into the family after a childhood of poverty that will always stay with her. Mother decided to leave Hong Kong for Canada with her two sons, pursuing more opportunities, though dissatisfied with her son’s desire to focus on the piano rather than math. Though pain is a constant, there are plenty of wisecracks, games of mah jong, and familiar family anecdotes swirling through Ho’s genealogical journey of survival.