Jinqiu, an eighteen year old school girl living during the later stages of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, falls in love with a socially unsuitable older man. A simply told tale of how an authoritarian government affects every aspect of life. Jinqiu is a very resourceful heroine and shows signs of developing a sense of humour as the novel progresses. An unusual gentle love story set against an unsympathetic background with a heartbreaking end.
He laughed. 'What, are you going to expose me? These things are all open secrets in the Party's upper circles, even people lower down the hierarchy know about some of it,' he teased. 'You're just too innocent. if you want to expose me, I'll confess and die in you arms, perfectly contented. All I ask is that after I'm dead and buried, you come put some hawthorn flowers on my grave, and erect a stone with the words, here lies the person I loved.'