Nine-year-old Ling is very comfortable with her life; her parents are both dedicated doctors in the best hospital in Wuhan. But when Comrade Li, one of Mao’s political officers, moves into a room in their apartment, Ling begins to witness the gradual disintegration of her world. In an atmosphere of increasing mistrust, Ling fears for the safety of her neighbors, and soon for herself and family. Over the course of four years, Ling manages to blossom, even as she suffers more horrors than many people face in a lifetime.
Drawing from her childhood experience, Ying Chang Compestine brings hope and humor to this powerful story of a girl who comes of age and fights to survive during the Cultural Revolution.
Ying Chang Compestine grew up in China. She is the author of cookbooks for adults and of children’s books that introduce Chinese culture and food, including The Real Story of Stone Soup. She lives with her family in California.