Jenna Bush Hager said her most recent Read With Jenna pick, “The Many Daughters of Afong Moy,” was"epic in scale.” The novel follows 250 years down the family tree of Afong Moy, a real-life historical figure thought to be the first Chinese woman in the United States in the 1830s. Speaking to TODAY, she said she wanted to “stick around” in the many characters’ worlds for a while — and now, she might get to do just that.
On Monday during TODAY With Hoda & Jenna, Jenna announced her production company had optioned the New York Times bestseller for a TV series. Jenna will executive produce the project along with Ben Spector, who is president of film and television at the banner. Author Ford will serve as a consultant.
"I feel like Cinderella and the clock's never going to strike midnight," Ford told Hoda and Jenna of the news. Ford tweeted out the news with the line, "Flying home with glitter on my toes."
Jenna called the news "awesome," and praised the book. "I've been telling Hoda about this book for a long time. It's about generations of love — love passed down from mother to daughter to mother to daughter," she said.
Ford was inspired by the idea of epigenetics, or the scientific notion that life events can change how genes express themselves, which are then in turn passed down through the generations.
The book's characters are united through Dorothy Moy's experimental therapeutic treatment. By undergoing a process centered around the idea of epigenetics, Dorothy encounters her ancestors and sees how certain patterns have been repeated over the generations
Also on the book-to-screen front, Jenna is developing an adaptation of Kirk Wallace Johnson’s “The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century.”
No further information about the show has been shared. For now, check out Ford's recommendations for books to read next and ponder these thought-provoking questions about "The Many Daughters of Afong Moy."
For more book recommendations, check out:
- The best beach reads of all time, according to authors
- What beach read to pick up this summer, based on your zodiac sign
- All of Jenna Bush Hager's book club picks