When I was a child, I thought my destiny was to live and die on the banks of the Xiangjiang River as my family had done for generations. I never imagined that my life would lead me to the Forbidden City and the court of China’s last Empress.
Born in the middle of nowhere, Yaqian, a little embroidery girl from Hunan Province, finds her way to the imperial court, a place of intrigue, desire, and treachery. From the bed of an Emperor, the heart of a Prince, and the right side of an Empress, Yaqian weaves her way through the most turbulent decades of China’s history and witnesses the fall of the Qing Dynasty.
Once upon a time there was a young girl who wanted nothing more than to take care of her silk worms all day. Then her mother bound her feet. Driven by pain and boredom, she discovered she liked--and was good at-- something else. She was a natural embroiderer. She goes to school, makes a lot of money, and even becomes a very important embroiderer in the Palace.
But things are not all well. There are scenes of assault. There are sacrifices made. There are lies told, and lives lost. And through all that, a mother who never quite acknowledged her daughter as a person.
1. Asian stories always get a star, even if it's east Asian.
2. I liked this. I liked it almost as much as SnowFlower and the Secret Fan.
3. She named her daughter for a Tiger.
1. Yaquin's mom! Really, now.
2. The FEELS. But that'll happen.
Overall, I need more books like this. SO MANY MORE BOOKS. I need ALL the books even remotely like this. Definitely something to consider as a gift, but maybe not for younger or easily triggered readers. Some pretty adult stuff happens to our little Yaquin.