This attractive novel about a Chinese family in San Francisco is stylistically prim, yet so detailed and real as to seem almost autobiographical. The House of Tai Ming was established after the Gold Rush- and the store in Chinatown which dealt in brocades, porcelain, paintings, would support many generations to follow. Tai Ming's descendants', who still return to China to marry chosen brides, live in a somewhat ambivalent world. Kiang and Bo Lin are born into a family life of enormous charm and coherence. But while they learn proverbs, behavior and art, they also go to the University. Kiang joins the U.S. Army and is killed fighting the Japanese. Lin's love affair and proposed marriage with an American boy (bitterly opposed by both families) ends when he too is killed. None of these racial-cultural clashes are explored very deeply, and the ending is a romantic-poignant evasion. Yet the warmth and authenticity of Chinese family life is presented with a sympathy and intelligence that should appeal to many readers.