cover image Along the River: A Chinese Cinderella Novel

Along the River: A Chinese Cinderella Novel

Adeline Yen Mah, Delacorte, $17.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-385-73895-8

Mah (Chinese Cinderella) connects two eras of Chinese history in this emotionally charged tale of two young women, originally published in Australia. Fearful that she's being pursued, 12-year-old CC escapes to a rooftop and falls, landing in a coma. When she awakens in a hospital, it is as though her mind has been transported back 800 years. Under hypnosis, she recalls vibrant details of another life as Mei Lan, the privileged daughter of a kindly father and cruel stepmother. Mei Lan's only friends are her ambitious older brother, Gege, and Ah Zhao, a servant boy whose artistic talent has won the notice of the emperor. Mei Lan and Ah Zhao become confidantes and fall in love, but fate tears them apart. Based on the Chinese painting Along the River at Qing Ming, this painstakingly researched novel brings to life the sights and sounds of ancient China, providing a clear interpretation of the era's rigid social structures. Characters often speak with a formality that may feel overly stiff, but vivid imagery enlivens the gripping premise; readers will be captivated by the exploration into a possible past life. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)