A Hong Kong woman finds herself in an unconventional marriage and must figure out how to balance family, face and her own desires.
This book is very Hong Kong. Xu Xi reveals the culture of a city that revolves around money, careers, family obligation, and the importance of face. It is a society in which much is left unsaid, even between the people who are closest to you.
Rose is a Hong Kong girl who marries her high school sweetheart, only to discover that he is different in a way that she did not suspect. She must work out a compromise that will meet her needs while still struggling with the rejection of her situation. They each have something to offer each other, and they must decide whether it is truly worth the pain.
The relationships in the book are highly complex, and Xu Xi shows what happens when no one is willing to be open with anyone else. She examines marriage, sexual identity, and gender roles through characters that are fascinating and refreshingly real. She explores a modern woman's need for independence and self-awareness in a city that can be surprisingly Victorian.
My account of Xu Xi's appearance at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival
I read the paperback edition that I purchased at the Literary Festival. It cost about $10 US.
Do you think it is possible to have a successful relationship in which there are secrets that both parties know but no one acknowledges? Must a relationship be entirely open?