From Publishers Weekly
In 1906 Southern China, newborn Li-Xia (Li) is nearly murdered by her elderly father because she is a girl, only to be saved by the specter of a fox fairy. Li lives in a rice shed mostly forgotten, as she wonders about her dead mother, who had been an educated concubine. After Li rebels against attempts to bind her feet, she is sold on her eighth birthday to a silk merchant and finds a temporary family among the female laborers while she dreams of learning to read and write. Capt. Benjamin Jean-Paul Devereaux rescues her by buying her freedom and safe passage on his ship, and she is able to fulfill her dream of literacy. They marry, defying societal norms, but in Hong Kong, Li is assaulted by an enemy of her husband, and fearing for her newborn girl, Siu-Sing, she has the child taken to safety in the mountains. Siu-Sing learns about her lineage and returns to face her own tribulations as WWII is about to begin. Fai's multigenerational tale has predictable elements, but is nonetheless an engaging and entertaining read. (Oct.)
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About the Author
Drawing on years of immersion in traditional Chinese culture, medicine, and martial arts, PAI KIT FAI, who worked as a merchant marine, a writer, and a creative director for an advertising agency before marrying into one of Hong Kong's founding Eurasian families, delivers a mesmerizing tale of passion and courage in this, his first novel.