An unlikely pair, seventeen-year-old Ming and twenty-four-year-old Yan meet and form an immediate bond. Ming, innocent and preoccupied, lives in her own world of books, music and imagination. Yan is, by contrast, beautiful, sexy, wild and manipulative. Their friendship is brief, almost accidental, but intense, and it changes Mings world forever. Set in modern China, February Flowers captures a society torn between tradition and modernity, dogma and freedom. It is a meditation on friendship, family, love, loss and redemption, and how a background shapes a life. A first novel whose psychic terrain is the hinterland between girlhood and womanhood, lust and love, tradition and progress . . . Subtle and deftly paced, its ultimately a story about sheer awakening Observer February Flowers enters the past as it was lived, in real-time and without the props of hindsight Financial Times An exquisitely beautiful book about that uncertain border between girlhood and womanhood, between passion and desire, a country only too familiar to all women SANDRA CISNEROS

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