The Jade Peony

Question from a book " the Jade Peony"


2. Why is Jook-Liang’s mother called “stepmother”? Whose stepmother is she really?

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Poh-Poh, being one of the few elder women left in Vancouver, took pleasure in her status and became the arbitrator of the old ways. Poh-Poh insisted we simplify our kinship terms in Canada, so my mother became "Stepmother." That is what the two boys always called her, for Kiam was the First Son of Father's First Wife who had died mysteriously in China; and Jung, the Second Son, had been adopted into our family. What the sons called my mother, my mother became.


The Jade Peony