The only thing sharper than a skater's blade is her mother. Mei Chen, an elite-level figure skater trying to qualify for the Olympics, is the daughter of an intensely focused Chinese immigrant mother, Ming. Raised in a hot-house environment, Mei's life is a torturous combination of practice on the ice and the piano bench, as she is required by her mother to not only skate to Rachmaninoff's Concerto #2 in C Minor, but to play it on the piano as well. When her mother's zeal causes her to cross the San Francisco Bay and practice at a different ice rink, in the town of Berkeley, a skating rivalry begins. Norma Gardner is a struggling single mother whose daughter, Tonya, is named after Tonya Harding. Tonya Gardner is now the only female skater in the US who has the triple Axel in her arsenal. Cleaning houses in Berkeley and selling home-baked cookies on the side, Norma is determined to provide her daughter with all she needs to win the national title and fulfill her destiny at the Olympics. But when Norma sees a new skater on the ice at her daughter's rink, she's prepared to do anything to protect her daughter's interests. Told through the eyes of one teenager and one adult, the drama of the white ice and its sparkling sequins is contrasted with its darkly comedic shadows. Flying Camels and Tiger Mothers is the story of two mothers at war with each other's principles, culture, and ambitions--and the affect this war has on their daughters. And when these mothers' actions ratchet up to felonious levels, like figure skaters jumping outside the circle, it is ultimately up to their daughters to straighten things up and bring everything down to a perfect landing.