Pearl of China, a novel, Anchee Min
In the small southern China town of Chin-Kiang, in the last days of the nineteenth century, two young girls bump heads and become thick as thieves. Willow is the only child of a destitute family. Pearl is the headstrong daughter of zealous Christian missionaries. She will grow up to become Pearl S. Buck, the Nobel Prize winning writer and activist but for now she is just a girl embarrassed by her blonde hair and enchanted by her new Chinese friend.
Moving out into the world together, the two enter the intellectual fray, confide their beliefs and dreams and experience love and motherhood. But these are times of great tumult. When a bloody civil war erupts, Peal is forced to flee the country ahead of angry mobs. Willow remains loyal to her exiled friend, but under Mao's repressive new regime, her "imperialist" ties jeopardize both her husband's career and her own safety. Worlds apart, the women's lives remain entwined.
Ambitious and deeply moving, Anchee Min's stunning novel Pearl of China celebrates an incredible friendship and brings new color to the life of Pearl S. Buck, a woman whose unwavering love for the country of her youth eventually led her to be hailed as a national heroine in China.
Acts of Faith, Book I - The Centurion's Wife, Davis Bunn and Janette Oke
Mediterranean breezes caressed her, and Leah could not help but pause between kitchen and bath house. She lifted her face to the cries of the sea birds and the few clouds overhead. Sea waves lapped gently along the promontory's edge. Not even the first stirrings within the palace compound behind her could wipe out her sense of peace.
Leah finally turned toward the elaborate courtyard with its columns and statuary, the opulent ceramic tiled baths, and the impressive marbled facade of the palace. No childhood dreams had ever included residing in the palace of the Prelate of Palestine. In different circumstances, Leah would have found it all impossible beautiful.
In different circumstances; Leah sighed and turned away. The reality was that she was here because she had no other recourse. Far to the northwest lay her home. True it was no longer her home, but it still held her heart. There her mother faced a new dawn also, alone. Leah yearned to be with her, giving what love and comfort she was able. But trapped within the imposing palace, she was surrounded by elegance she could appreciate only at a distance. Yes, even though she had been born to wealth, to position here, she was little more than a slave. Bitterness filled her throat and caught her breath.
She pushed her dark thoughts aside, cast one more longing look out over the wide expanse of sea, and with a determined lift of her shoulders, walked on toward the bath house. Her first of many duties for the day would have her laying out fresh towels and robes.
The Hidden Flame Acts of Faith, Book 2, Davis Bunn and Janette Oke
Abigail twisted a corner of her shawl and lifted it to wipe the tears running down her cheeks. Fear nearly compressed her chest, and she wondered when, if, she would ever see Alban and Leah again.
She felt eyes observing her and realized that the soldier, Linux, was not watching his friend depart. He was looking at her.
A chill ran through Abigail. She had noticed the handsome officer before. She tightened her shawl about her face, covering all but her eyes, and turned away to watch the two mounted riders disappear around the corner.
As the sound of their racing gallop over the cobblestones faded away, Abigail moved her head to see the entire community of believers standing in stunned silence. No longer the wedding music, no longer the laughter and camaraderie, the dancing and feasting. Once more their world has abruptly changed with this vivid reminder of who they were, where they were. Judeans certainly, yet viewed as enemies by their own religious leaders as well as the Roman conquerors.
"Go with God", Breathed Peter, his arms outstretched toward the alley in which the couple had fled.
"Go with God" echoed throughout the group, as though the entire gathering took a fresh breath. Yes, God was with the two now escaping for their lives, as he was with those left to face the hunters.
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