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Brought together by their mutual patriotism in 1932 China, Steel Hope, Mountain Pine, and Firecrackers form a pact to defend their country, but the Communist Revolution takes them in very different directions and tests their loyalties. Reprint. NYT.
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In 1932, as China shamefully kowtows under Japanese occupation, three unlikely companions are fatefully bound by their steadfast patriotism: Steel Hope, heir to a once-great aristocracy; Mountain Pine, his crippled, scholarly servant; and Firecrackers, a poor gravekeeper's daughter. In a youthful pact, they call themselves the "Brothers of the Middle Heart", vowing to defend their country to the end.
Yet as war and, later, the Communist Revolution ignite, cruel circumstances separate them. One becomes a political leader, one a writer, one an actress. But despite incessant historical upheaval, their lives continue to intertwine in poignant, often tragic, ways. Enmeshed in a love triangle, they will live to see their loyalty to one another tested again and again.
Through these three richly drawn characters, Bette Bao Lord re-creates the stirring drama of twentieth-century China. In vivid, haunting prose she evokes the outrages that marred fifty years of the Chinese people's existence -- and illuminates the remarkable resilience that defines them to this day.From the Inside Flap:
It is the summer of 1932, the year the Japanese conquered Manchuria, China's northeast region. Three children meet and become best friends for the summer, and blood brothers for a lifetime. They are: Steel Hope, the second son of the House of Li, a once-great clan which survives now on handouts from his grandfather, a merchant who trafficks whith the Japanese; Steel Hope's "bookmate," Mountain Pine, Steel Hope's servant and conscience; and the irrepressible Firecrackers, daughter of the Li's gravekeeper, who masquerades as a boy to take the place of a brother killed years earlier by the Japanese. At the end of the summer a tragic event -- a good deed gone awry -- splits them apart until they are grown.
During the subsequent years of war and cultural upheaval, the destinies of the three friends are realized -- their loyalty to each other tested by the demands of politics and patriotism, and by the question of where honor and obligation lie when confronted by love.
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Book Description Topeka, Kansas, U.S.A.: Bt Bound, 1999, 1999. 408 pages. Text clean. Book tight. Pictorial cover. Very Clean Copy. Condition of Book Fine. Book is used but looks almost New. Seller Inventory # 3584
Book Description San Val, 1997. Condition: Very Good. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory # GRP63613812
Book Description San Val, 1997. School & Library Binding. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG061312877X