In a flat above a noisy North London market, translator Iona Kirkpatrick starts work on a Chinese letter: "Dearest Mu, The sun is piercing, old bastard sky. I am feeling empty and bare. Nothing is in my soul, apart from the image of you. I am writing to you from a place I cannot tell you about yet...."
In a detention centre in Dover, exiled Chinese musician Jian is awaiting an unknown fate. In Beijing his girlfriend, Mu, sends desperate letters to London to track him down, her last memory of them together a roaring rock concert and Jian the king on stage. Until the state police stormed in.
As Iona unravels the story of these Chinese lovers from their first flirtations at Beijing University to Jian’s march in the Jasmine Revolution, Jian and Mu seem to be travelling further and further away from each other while Iona feels more and more alive. Intoxicated by their romance, Iona sets out to bring them back together, but time seems to be running out....
I absolutely loved it. Really well narrated, beautifully written and an interesting insight into censorship in China. A must read for anyone that is interested in the Middle Kingdom.
great voice acting . I enjoyed the book but not as much as 20 fragments of a ravenous youth. I felt there was a tendency to overexplain and that more could be left for the reader to imagine or work out . I could really imagine this being a film . I think the Iona character would work better on screen than she does on the page .