In her acclaimed debut novel, Women of the Silk, Gail Tsukiyama told the moving story of Pei, brought to work in the silk house as a girl, grown into a quiet but determined young woman whose life was subject to cruel twists of fate, including the loss of her closest friend, Lin. Now we finally learn what happened to Pei, as she leaves the silk house for Hong Kong in the 1930's, arriving with a young orphan, Ji Shen, in her care. Her first job, in the home of a wealthy family, ends in disgrace, but soon Pei and Ji Shen find a new life in the home of Mrs. Finch, a British ex-patriate who welcomes them as the daughters she never had. Their new family is torn apart, however, by war, and the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. As Mrs. Finch is forced into a prison camp, and Ji Shen tries to navigate the perilous waters of the gang-run black market, Pei is once again forced to make her own way, struggling to survive and to keep her extended family alive as well.
In this dramatic story of hardship and survival in the face of historic upheaval, Gail Tsukiyama brings her trademark grace and storytelling flair to paint a moving, unforgettable portrait of women fighting the forces of war and time to make a life for themselves.