A lyrical, moving novel of the choices and confusions that face a married woman whose understanding of herself explodes on first contact with the energies of China and a Chinaman. Grace Hoffmeier is never quite sure where to invest her energies: in her dying marriage to star scientist Walter or in the possible affairs that flare so startlingly before her like fireworks; in her work or in her home; in things or in people; in the past or in the future. On an eye-opening trip to a China that has ripped itself apart, yet again, at its very heart in Tiananmen Square, Grace finds – with guidance from unexpected quarters – that what you can choose between is not always your choice to make. The real China soon crackles into being before Grace; its fire and light illuminate for her paths old and new, and a new life in a new kingdom.
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