Ah Ling: son of a prostitute and a white 'ghost', dispatched from Hong Kong as a boy to make his way alone in 1860s California. Anna Mae Wong: the first Chinese film star in Hollywood, forbidden to kiss a white man on screen. Vincent Chin: killed by a pair of Detroit auto workers in 1982 simply for looking Japanese. John Ling Smith: a half-Chinese writer visiting China for the first time, to adopt a baby girl. Inspired by three figures who lived at pivotal moments in Chinese-American history, and drawing on his own mixed-race experience, Peter Ho Davies plunges us into what it is like to feel, and be treated, like a foreigner in the country you call home. Ranging from the mouth of the Pearl River to the land of golden opportunity, this remarkable novel spans 150 years to tell a tale of familial bonds denied and fragmented, of tenacity and pride, of prejudice and the universal need to belong.