China, early 1950s: Two friends find themselves on their way to a re-education camp for those not adhering to the standards of the new order – working girls, madams, misfits.
Who would have anticipated that Petulia, stripped of her silk gowns, would be forced to denounce the Red Delight Pavilion? Or believed that Autumn Grace would cry in desperation as nuns shave off her locks? After years working side-by-side, their sudden goodbye was the first sign of a changing society. Still, the scent of rouge filling their memories keeps them close, despite the twists and turns that life throws at them. Until one day, the promise of love and stability becomes a temptation neither can deny. . .
“Su Tong writes beautiful, dangerous prose”
Meg Wolitzer, author, The Ten-Year Nap
“Su Tong is an imaginative and skillful storyteller”
New York Times