1. Why have Jing-mei and Canning gone to China?
2. Why did Lindo tell the twins that Suyuan would come to see them when Suyuan had been dead three months? Why did Jing-mei ask her to write a second letter?
3. How did Suyuan know that her entire family had been killed in the bombing?
4. What aspects of China surprise Jing-mei?
5. What does Jing-mei’s name tell us about Suyuan’s hopes?
6. Why had Suyuan abandoned her babies?
7. What happened to the girls after Suyuan left them?
8. Why did Canning refuse to come to China with Suyuan when she suggested it?
9. Why does the first sister remind Jing-mei of Suyuan?
10. What was Suyuan’s long-cherished wish?
1. They will visit his aunt and her twin half sisters.
2. Lindo was reluctant to put such sad news in a letter; she said the twins should hear it from a member of their family. Jing-mei wanted her sisters to know before she arrived so that they wouldn’t be disappointed and hate her and so that they wouldn’t think Suyuan had died because of her neglect.
3. In the debris of the house Suyuan found a doll that a niece always carried with her. If the niece was in the house when the bomb fell, then her parents and the rest of the family must also have been there.
4. She is surprised that Guangzhou is a modern city, that an elegant hotel is so inexpensive, and that the room contains Western items such as German beer, Coke, and Cadbury’s chocolate.
5. Jing means “essence” or “best quality.” Mei means “little sister.” She represents the essence of the other two sisters, a constant reminder that Suyuan hopes to see them again.
6. Suyuan thought she was about to die from dysentery, and she didn’t want her babies to die with her.
7. They were adopted and raised by a childless couple who lived in caves not far from the road where Suyuan left them. Later they came to Shanghai.
8. Canning misunderstood what Suyuan wanted. He thought she just wanted to be a tourist.
9. The first sister has pressed her hand against her mouth the same way Suyuan did when Jing-mei crawled out from under the bed after being gone all afternoon.
10. Suyuan wanted to see all her daughters together.