Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
With few other real options, when the young village woman in this story is offered an arranged marriage with a kindly but mildly retarded shopkeeper who lives in a nearby town, she readily accepts. Once she has settled into her new home, she becomes involved with her new husband's patron, a man involved in some underworld trading activities. Eventually, their relationship becomes so heated that the man moves in with her with her husband's consent. Meanwhile, since it is the 1890s, China is facing all sorts of unrest, from the Boxer Rebellion to ferocious military rivalries. Even her new lover is facing dangerous threats from a business rival.