As A-ma said, every story, every dream, every waking minute of our lives is filled with one fateful coincidence after another. People and animals and leaves and fire and rain—we whirl around each other like handfuls of dried rice kernels being tossed into the sky. A single kernel cannot change its direction. It cannot choose to fly to the right or to the left nor can it choose where it lands—balanced on a rock, and therefore salvageable, or bouncing off that same rock into the mud, becoming instantly useless and valueless. Where they alight is fate, and nothing—no thing anyway—can change their destinies.
Lisa See – thank you. This book was the shining gem in the pile of other somewhat bland books I got recommended for my new year. I read it slowly, I let it simmer and now, after a month, it has had time to settle down in the most unbelievable story I’ve ever read.
The story takes us through stories of rural China, of discrete family relations, of tea-picking and tea-making, of what it means to grow up as a woman in a country where that is being looked down upon, of adoption and loss and most importantly of how destiny can shape a life until it becomes unrecognisable from where it started off.