A compelling family saga inspired by the celebrated Chinese classical epic The Dream of the Red Chamber in the tradition of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
On the death of her mother, Lin Daiyu, a beautiful young girl, is taken far away to the capital to live with her mother's aristocratic relatives in the inner courtyards of Rongguo Mansion. Educated and resourceful, Daiyu has grown up in relative freedom down south. Now she finds herself in the strictly regulated society of 18th century Beijing where women are bought and traded like cattle. This is a highly competitive female society of first wives, concubines and servants all jockeying for power.
Dazzled by the easy charm and rebellious intelligence of her cousin, Baoyu, whose miraculous birth with a piece of jade in his mouth means that he holds the fortune of the family in his hands, Daiyu falls dangerously in love. And as she tries to tread a delicate path between following her heart and doing what is asked of her, she discovers that no one's loyalty is immune to the pressures of society.
Beautifully written, THE RED CHAMBER brings you into a world where wealth and duty, love and passion, continually collide.
Pauline Chen raises the bar extraordinarily high . . . The Red Chamber canters along quickly thanks to the author's ability to stop effortlessly into another time and place . . . This is a well-crafted novel full of skill and grace from an author to watch out for - Sunday Business Post
A compelling new version of China's great masterpiece. It will transport you into an altogether new world - Arthur Golden, Author Of Memoirs Of A Geisha
Bold and memorable . . . Chen retells and recreates in lush detail the daily life inside the Rongguo Mansion, where scandalous secrets and lies are hidden behind a grand façade - Chicago Tribune