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Publisher's Summary

An acclaimed storyteller returns with “a gorgeous and gripping literary mystery” that explores “family, betrayal, passion, race, culture and the American Dream” (Jean Kwok).   

The residents of Haven, Wisconsin, have dined on the Fine Chao Restaurant’s delicious Americanized Chinese food for 35 years, happy to ignore any unsavory whispers about the family owners. But when brash, charismatic, and tyrannical patriarch Leo Chao is found dead - presumed murdered - his sons discover that they’ve drawn the exacting gaze of the entire town.   

The ensuing trial brings to light potential motives for all three brothers: Dagou, the restaurant’s reckless head chef; Ming, financially successful but personally tortured; and the youngest, gentle but lost college student James. 

Brimming with heartbreak, comedy, and suspense, The Family Chao offers a kaleidoscopic, highly entertaining portrait of a Chinese American family grappling with the dark undercurrents of a seemingly pleasant small town.

©2022 Lan Samantha Chang (P)2022 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Family Chao

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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An American Family Saga of Love and Loyalty

It's wonderful to listen to a tale as well-written as this one and to imagine the bits that could fit your own life narrative. We all want the chance to be seen and to be loved -- regardless of who we are or what we've done -- by those we think of as our family. This book offers the light of that hope under the setting of a dingy Chinese restaurant in a hopeless Midwestern town during the gray of winter. The Family Chao is a satisfying story from start to finish.

20 people found this helpful

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Only complaint I didn’t want it to end

Great story. Wonderful reader. Hope it continues
I want to know how it goes. I couldn’t stop

19 people found this helpful

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Courageous.

Captures the complexity of family members living between and within cultures. life is beyond imagination.

17 people found this helpful

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Weird story!

This is one of the most bizarre stories I have ever read. First half of the book drags on, even though it is more character and story development. It does pick up towards the second half, but it is still all over the place at times.

15 people found this helpful

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Terrific Book

The narrator is excellent.
The plot is captivating, and the insight into the struggles of first generation Chinese children is enlightening and presented in a very creative way. I feel indebted to this talented author.

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not for me, but I listened to the bitter end

I got interested in this story of a Chinese immigrant family, but I am not sure I liked it. I didn't like the characters. I especially loathed the family patriarch, but that was the intent of the author. No one was relatable, or even very likeable to me.

I have never read The Brothers Karamazov, so cannot address this retelling.

I found a part of the story hard to agree with, but removed my comment as it would be a spoiler.

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Not To Be Missed

A great immigrant story which describes the difficulties, the racism, and xenophobia faced when one is considered “other” in a country filled with others who feel superior because of their white supremacist settler roots. The Family Chao is a complex and expertly woven story. An American story which needed to be told and read. Bravo!

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Family, culture and challenge

An interesting story of Chinese immigrant families and their challenges. I wanted to taste all if the foods and dishes description

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could have been more

interesting story but characters need more fleshing out for book to realize it's potential and be more compelling

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Bad

Scatterbrained trash. I can’t believe I listened to the whole thing. The narration was brilliant.