| Quote #1
There were groceries and herbal shops, clothing shops and laundries, halls that housed the brotherhoods or the district associations or the offices of family clans. Uncle pointed out the building of the district from which any family came and to which I could go for help. Besides that there was the Lee family building, which would help everyone who was named Lee. (2.35)
Without their biological families allowed intact in America, Chinese immigrants formed other alliances that created systems of support in a foreign land.
| Quote #2
During the next year, I learned that the Company was more than a group of men wanting money. We were brothers: strangers in a strange land who had banded together for mutual help and protection. There were arguments, of course, but they were always worked out. (4.1)
Brotherhood takes on a new meaning in the Tang people's village in the early twentieth century. The brotherhood of the Company blurs the boundary between family and friends, putting the emphasis on the protection and well being of others rather than shared blood.
| Quote #3
Miss Whitlaw had a smile like the Listener, She Who Hears Prayers, who refused release from the cycle of lives until all her brothers and sisters too could be freed from sin. (6.32)
Moon Shadow's first impression of Miss Whitlaw turns out to be a fortuitous premonition, for Miss Whitlaw is a selfless friend who comes to be as close as family.