The setting is simply contemporary America, South Dakota and Iowa. If the author hadnt mentioned the rapper Snoop-Dog and given a reference to the candy bar Payday and the store 7-11, I could have dated this work to be in the 20s trough to the 50s because of the stereotypical way the daughter gets married off to an older man.
The author characterizes Nea with what I call little man syndrome, she is in constant readiness to fight for her sister, however she doesnt go about it with common sense. Nobody seems to understand Nea, least of all her sister Sourdi. All she attempts to do is save Sourdi, however Nea is not looking at the big picture. There is nothing or no one from which to save Sourdi. The characterization of Sourdi is the stereotypical Chinese/American in which she does exactly what her family expects of her, even if it is something that she is against. The author characterizes their Ma as someone who cares only for the restaurant and the familys reputation, however that it not fair to their mother.
She may fear if they lose the restaurant they could lose the right to stay in the states. We are never told. Buck is characterized as a person whom to protect Sourdi from at first and then a champion whom will fight for Sourdi, who is in the middle of an abusive relationship. When in fact we are never told why Sourdi was crying to her Ma, it could have been the fact that she is pregnant and doesnt know how to deal with her baby and pregnancy at the same time.
Nea never learns that the most important thing to her sister and mother is family. McCarty 2 I would have preferred the writing to be in first person than third person. It may have changed the way I felt about the way the family treated Nea.
Chai, May-lee, Saving Sourdi (2001)