Mingzhi is born to be a mandarin: As the formidable Master Chai's first grandson, his life is mapped from the moment of his birth. But times are changing in China, and as Mingzhi grows, he begins to question his privileged heritage and the secrets and shadows that lurk in the corners of the Chai mansion. Eager to flee from the corruption, treachery and rivalries of his family - Master Chai, who farms opium poppies and beats out orders with his dragon stick; the jealousy of his second mother and half-brother; and his opium-addict father - Mingzhi soon realises his only path to freedom is through learning. But as the foreign devils begin to encroach on China, Mingzhi is torn between two cultures; he must make his choice between the past and the future.
A sweeping story of rebellion and discovery, Little Hut of Leaping Fishes traces one man's journey to find a life of his own in the slipstream of historic change.