A catastrophic disaster in China triggers a mother’s heartbreaking choice and a daughter’s reconciliation with the past in a powerful novel by the author of A Single Swallow and Where Waters Meet.
In the summer of 1976, an earthquake swallows up the city of Tangshan, China. Among the hundreds of thousands of people scrambling for survival is a mother who makes an agonizing decision that irrevocably changes her life and the lives of her children. In that devastating split second, her seven-year-old daughter, Xiaodeng, is separated from her brother and the mother she loves and trusts. All Xiaodeng remembers of the fateful morning is betrayal.
Thirty years later, Xiaodeng is an acclaimed writer living in Canada with a caring husband and daughter. However, her newfound fame and success do little to cover the deep wounds that disrupt her life, time and again, and edge her toward a breaking point. Xiaodeng realizes the only path toward healing is to return to Tangshan, find her mother, and get closure.
Spanning three decades of the emotional and cultural aftershocks of disaster, Zhang Ling’s intimate epic explores the damage of guilt, the healing pull of family, and the hope of one woman who, after so many years, still longs to be saved.
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Unabridged 8 hours