The Joy Luck Club Book 1, Feathers from a Thousand Li Away
An old woman remembers a very expensive swan she bought years ago. She sailed to America with the swan, planning to have a daughter who is just like her, but without her sadness and oppressed life. But immigration officials took the swan away from her, so she was left with only a feather. She wants to give her ignorant daughter this feather, but she is waiting until she could say what it meant in perfect English.