This is another view of early twentieth century China from the inside out as seen by one large family. Although the enemy from the East, Japan, is not named, we see how their invasion effected this extended family by dividing their loyalties, relationships and even living conditions during the occupation. We, as readers, are not given the big picture of pre-World War Two events because those on the ground had limited sources of communication except for a lone radio purloined from the enemy and word of mouth. For those who have not read Buck’s other books on China, this story would be a good example of how society functioned without Western prejudices.
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