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For every young Chinese woman in 1930s Shanghai, following the path of duty takes precedence over personal desires
For Feng, that means becoming the bride of a wealthy businessman in a marriage arranged by her parents. In the enclosed world of the Sang householda place of public ceremony and private crueltyfulfilling her duty means bearing a male heir. The life that has been forced on her makes Feng bitter and resentful, and she plots a terrible revenge. But with the passing years comes a reckoning, and Feng must come to terms with the sacrifices and terrible choices she has made in order to assure her place in family and societyeven as the violent, relentless tide of revolution engulfs her country.
Duncan Jepson is the award-winning director and producer of five feature films. He has also produced documentaries for Discovery Channel Asia and National Geographic Channel. He was the editor of the Asia-based fashion magazine West East and is a founder and managing editor of the Asia Literary Review. A lawyer by profession, he lives in Hong Kong.
“Jepson...evokes time and place well as he describes the life of privilege that Feng comes to take for granted only to have her life veer dramatically and be overtaken by the Great Leap Forward.”
“[Jepson] does a solid job of voicing a female character.”
“Strong on detail and emotional intensity.”
“[A] riveting storyline.”
“Poignant and elegantly written.”
“An accomplished first novel. Duncan Jepson magically inhabits the life of a young Chinese woman in 1930s Shanghai, following Feng’s unlikely evolution from neglected second daughter to first wife of the rich and powerful Sang family and her unexpected epilogue. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.”
-Janice Y. K. Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Piano Teacher
“This story is breathtaking. Like a poem or a painting, it reveals the old Shanghai. It’s a great work that will move its readers.”
-Hong Ying, international bestselling author of Daughter of the River
“The life of this novel’s main character is splintered into thousands of pieces, each of them reflecting the changes of Chinese history, yet all of them coming out in Duncan Jepson’s poetic, passionate writing.”
-Qiu Xiaolong, author of the Inspector Chen mysteries
“A beautifully poetic story. Duncan Jepson creates a poignant set of characters and follows the journey of one woman who attempts to stop the cycle of history in the only way she knows how, but with dire consequences.”
-Geling Yan, author of The Banquet Bug