That night I dreamed that I had wandered out to Dragon Springs Road all on my own, when a dreadful knowledge seized me that my mother had gone away never to return …
In 1908, Jialing is only seven years old when she is abandoned in the courtyard of a once-lavish estate near Shanghai. Jialing is zazhong—Eurasian—and faces a lifetime of contempt from both the Chinese and Europeans. Without her mother’s protection, she can survive only if the estate’s new owners, the Yang family, agree to take her in.
Jialing finds allies in Anjuin, the eldest Yang daughter, and Fox, an animal spirit who has lived in the haunted courtyard for centuries. But Jialing’s life as the Yangs’ bondservant changes unexpectedly when she befriends a young English girl who then mysteriously vanishes.
Always hopeful of finding her long-lost mother, Jialing grows into womanhood during the tumultuous early years of the Chinese republic, guided by Fox and by her own strength of spirit, away from the shadows of her past. But she finds herself drawn into a murder at the periphery of political intrigue, a relationship that jeopardizes her friendship with Anjuin, and a forbidden affair that brings danger to the man she loves.
“Lyrical and magical…Chang’s lovingly crafted novel will resonate with readers long after the story is done.”
RT Book Reviews (4 stars)
“Rich with detail and a fascinating interplay between the spiritual and earthly realms, Chang’s second novel explores whether it is possible to overcome your past.”
“Janie Chang has a keen eye for detail and infuses them throughout this magical story, with its masterfully rendered setting of the early Chinese republic.”
Shilpi Somaya Gowda, author of Secret Daughter
Emily Woo Zeller is a performing artist and yogi currently based in New York City. Her voice-over career includes work in animated film and television in Southeast Asia. She has also worked as an actor, singer, dancer, and choreographer on stage throughout the United States and Southeast Asia. When not in the studio or on stage, Emily is a yoga teacher with a focus on holistic approaches to health. She holds a degree from the University of California–Berkeley.
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- Publisher: HarperCollins
- Genre: Fiction/Historical
- ISBN-13: 978-0-06-265855-5