She fell in love with their words.
Their food and their culture.
And then she met Cai.
The gorgeous Chinese man who will forever change her love affair with China…
Susan is in love with the Chinese culture: she has spent five years learning Mandarin, speaks it really well(except for when she encounters those who speak Cantonese). In 1990 she arrives on campus for her exchange year in Hong Kong. She describes the landscapes as different from what she imagined. There were no “neon lights and “skyscrapers” just barges and boats in the Tolo Harbour.
That was not the only image obscured by reality.
Her love life has not been steady before Cai and Cai is what you would call a Chinese Heartthrob. Susan readily admits she wanted to spend some time with him besides their first innocent encounter with her locking herself outside the dorm.
“He stood six feet tall with confident eyes and infectious smile”(12). Susan fell in love with him first obviously, but as the reader, you get the feeling that maybe Susan have tried too hard and her love for China reached out to this man who could potentially be her anchor, her driving force behind her China dreams.
As the blurb suggests, Susan was in an abusive relationship with Cai for years and eventually he threatens to take their son away. The abuse is not physical. Not at all. (Finish reading to find out more)