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A young Chinese girl in 1947 comes to Brooklyn and discovers her love for baseball while adjusting to new life in America.
Urgent and timeless, Legacies brings us closer than we have ever been to penetrating the great conundrum of China in the twentieth century. It could only have been written by Bette Bao Lord -- born in China, raised in America, author of the bestselling novel Spring Moon, wife of a former American ambassador to China, resident in Beijing during the "China Spring" of 1989. Lord's unique web of relationships and her sensitive insight have enabled her to observe Chinese life both high and low, Communist and dissident, intellectual and ordinary. Lord interweaves her own story, and that of her clansmen, with the voices of men and women who recall the tumultuous experience of the last fifty years, and the legacy of the Cultural Revolution. In precise, subtle prose, Lord explores the reality of Red Guards and re-education camps, of friends and families severed by political disgrace, and captures the individual voices of those caught up in them: the seven-year-old girl with a heart full of hate for her father; the journalist whose girlfriend believes the Party newspapers, not him; the imprisoned scholar who hid his writings in his quilt for years; the anti-revolutionary who tells his bitter story in a vein of high farce. All bear heartbreaking witness to the surreal quality of Chinese society today -- and to the astonishing resilience, humor, and heroic equanimity of the Chinese spirit.
It is the summer of 1932, the year the Japanese conquered Manchuria, China's northeast region. Three children meet and become best friends for the summer, and blood brothers for a lifetime. They are: Steel Hope, the second son of the House of Li, a once-great clan which survives now on handouts from his grandfather, a merchant who trafficks with the Japanese; Steel Hope's "bookmate," Mountain Pine, Steel Hope's servant and conscience; and the irrepressible Firecrackers, daughter of the Li's gravekeeper, who masquerades as a boy to take the place of a brother killed years earlier by the Japanese. At the end of the summer a tragic event -- a good deed gone awry -- splits them apart until they are grown. During the subsequent years of war and cultural upheaval, the destinies of the three friends are realized -- their loyalty to each other tested by the demands of politics and patriotism, and by the question of where honor and obligation lie when confronted by love.
Spring Moon is born into luxury and privilege, but the tempests of change sweep her into a new world, one of hardship, turmoil and heartbreak.
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