The Secrets of Jin-Shei by Alma Alexander

The Secrets of Jin-Shei

Alma Alexander

A tender story of a unique sisterhood which crosses the boundaries of class and position. Set in and around a royal palace in Medieval China, the sisters face danger and destruction as the intrigues of the court test their loyalty to one another. An epic tale which strikes a chord and leaves you wanting more.

Extract

'Look,' Tai said suddenly, lifting a piece of very fine paper which had been laid between the last page and the back cover. 'There is something else here, Look!'

'It looks like a letter,' Rimshi said.

Tai looked up in consternation. 'I cannot read letters!'

'This one you can, I think,' Rimshi said. 'She would have written in the women's tongue.'

'Jin-ashu? The princesses know jin-ashu, too?'

'All women know jin-ashu,' murmured Rimshi. 'It is our language, the language of jin-shei - passed from mother to daughter from the dawn of time, letting us speak freely of the thoughts and dreams and desires hidden deep in a woman's heart. Of things men do not understand and do not need to know.'

Tai opened the folded piece of paper with reverence. 'There is only one thing here,' she said.

'What does it say?' Rimshi asked, although she knew, and her heart leapt at what her daughter had just been given.

Tai lifted shining eyes. 'Jin-shei,' she whispered.

Parallels
  • Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
  • Chinoiserie by Dawn Jacobson
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

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