When her husband dies, Lu Si-yans mother is encouraged to sell her young daughter into domestic service. Lu Si-yan is just eleven when sold by her uncle. Nearly two years will pass before she can get back home to her mother and brother. In this powerful and compelling novel Sally Grindley portrays the life of a young girl in China, a young girl whose life is said to be like 'spilled water. With a brilliant first-person narrative and a powerful description of time and place, this novel is gripping, heart-wrenching and utterly mesmerising.