Michael Tang and his sister, Emily, have both struggled to forge a sense of identity in their
parents’ adopted homeland. Emily, an immigration lawyer in New York City, baffles their mother, Ling, by refusing to have children. At twenty-six, Michael is unable to commit to a
relationship or a career, or to come out to his family. And now their father, after a lifetime of
sacrifice, has passed away.

When Michael finds a letter to his father from a long-ago friend, he impulsively travels to China in the hopes of learning more about a man he never really knew. In this rapidly modernizing country he begins to understand his father’s decisions, including one whose repercussions can be felt into the present day. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Ling and Emily question their own choices, trying to forge a path that bends toward new loves and fresh beginnings.


“This masterfully crafted novel weaves three simultaneous perspectives—of the mother, daughter, and son—with engaging and believable narrates in the unique voices of each character, reflecting their background, education, and temperament.” –The Drunken Odyssey

“Touching on familiar themes of loss, identity, family, and immigration, Lee spins a deeply emotional and transnational tale.” –

“A quiet and emotionally satisfying family drama that spans decades and oceans.” –Shelf Awareness

“An affecting exploration of the immigrant experience and the search for forgiveness, acceptance, and a sense of belonging.” –Booklist

 “A beautiful novel that will leave readers feeling hopeful and fulfilled.” –RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

“In Wendy Lee’s Across a Green Ocean, the past is always present, and the present is never quite what it seems. From the tumult of Manhattan’s Chinatown to the turmoil of contemporary China, Across a Green Ocean takes us along on that most important journey of all: in search of reconciliation.” –Susan Choi, award-winning author of My Education

“Wendy Lee’s debut proved her to be a graceful and thoughtful writer to watch, and her second outing certainly lives up to that promise. Across a Green Ocean is a beautiful story about the invisible ties that bind families, and how far we must sometimes go to truly know their strength.” –Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Someone Else’s Love Story

“Keenly observed and boldly imagined, Across a Green Ocean follows one family’s searching grief from the lawns of suburban New Jersey to an immigration detention center in upstate New York to the nightclubs of present-day China. Wendy Lee is a wise and unsentimental guide on this fateful journey of loss, longing, and hope, one whose words ring with rare 
compassion and understated grace.” –Deanna Fei, author of A Thread of Sky

“As haunting as it is inspiring, Wendy Lee’s Across a Green Ocean examines the truths we share and those that we withhold, and how vast the space between the two can become in our relationships. Lee creates characters who are each, at times, profoundly flawed and deeply moving. I will not soon forget them.” –Katrina Kittle, author of The Blessings of 
the Animals

“On the surface, Across a Green Ocean is the story of a Chinese immigrant family who learns about the shameful secret their father has taken to the grave. What Wendy Lee has actually written is an emotionally charged story about fear of censure and how it conceals truths that isolate us even as we crave understanding from the ones we love. She really nails the 
dynamics between generations and cultures.” –Janie Chang, author of Three Souls

“I was hooked by this engrossing novel, peopled by characters who are hard to forget. You won’t see China—and for that matter, America—the same way again.” –Samuel Park, author of This Burns My Heart