, 1997 - Fiction
- 574 pages
Los Angeles. October 1941. A month before Pearl Harbor, Hope Leon receives a letter smuggled out of war-torn China. It's from her husband, the father of her children, a man she once loved with reckless abandon. "So much time has passed, " he writes. "Do you keep place for me in your heart, your home?" In Hope's voice, through her eyes and her memories, we learn their story... Northern California, 1906. She was Hope Newfield then, young and headstrong, teaching English to foreign students. He was Liang Po-yu, an idealistic Chinese scholar-revolutionary, intent on bringing modern democracy to his imperial homeland. She chose Paul Leon for his American name. He called her Hsin-hsin, Mandarin for "hope." When the Great Earthquake came, they rescued each other...and fell desperately in love. And at a time when it was illegal to shoot livestock in California but not Chinese, Hope and Paul dared to defy blatant bigotry, marry, and start a family. Shanghai, 1911. When the long-awaited revolution toppled China's imperial rulers, Hope and Paul moved to a world more compelling and brutal than Hope had ever known. There, Paul would relentlessly pursue his dream of democracy for his country, even when feuding warlords placed his, Hope's, and their children's lives in the balance. And in that land of turmoil, their love would be tested by personal tragedy and betrayal - and by their own divided loyalties and conflicting ambitions.