In 17th-century China, the Manchus have seized power and crushed the Ming dynasty. But in an elaborate villa on the shores of Huanzhou's West Lake, Peony lives a sheltered life with her wealthy family, trapped like a good-luck cricket in a bamboo and lacquer cage. Though raised to be obedient, Peony is inspired by the spirited heroine in the opera The Peony Pavillion and develops dreams of her own. When she catches sight of an elegant, handsome man she begins to resent her betrothal. So begins Peony's unforgettable journey of love, desire, sorrow, and redemption. Based on a true story, this haunting novel brings to life an exotic time and place.More
"Peony's vibrant voice, perfectly pitched between the novel's historical and passionate depths, carries her story beautifully - in life and afterlife." (Publishers Weekly)
"There's much here to be savored and a great deal to be learned." (Washington Post Book World)
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