The Concubine's Daughter

The Concubine's Daughter

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by Pai Kit Fai
     
 

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An epic, heart-wrenching story of a mother and daughter's journey to their destiny.

Lotus Feet. He would give his daughter the dainty feet of a courtesan. This would enhance her beauty and her price, making her future shine like a new coin. He smiled to himself, pouring fresh tea. And it would stop her from running away…

When the young

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Overview

An epic, heart-wrenching story of a mother and daughter's journey to their destiny.

Lotus Feet. He would give his daughter the dainty feet of a courtesan. This would enhance her beauty and her price, making her future shine like a new coin. He smiled to himself, pouring fresh tea. And it would stop her from running away…

When the young concubine of an old farmer in rural China gives birth to a daughter called Li-Xia, or "Beautiful One," the child seems destined to become a concubine herself. Li refuses to submit to her fate, outwitting her father's orders to bind her feet and escaping the silk farm with an English sea captain. Li takes her first steps toward fulfilling her mother's dreams of becoming a scholar--but her final triumph must be left to her daughter, Su Sing, "Little Star," in a journey that will take her from remote mountain refuges to the perils of Hong Kong on the eve of World War II.

Editorial Reviews

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.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312355210
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
09/29/2009
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
933,807
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)

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Meet 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.

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