A fictional account based on history about the "Rape of Nanjing" from the perspective of a missionary and dean at an Ivy-League-like all girls college.
Having seen a movie on the life of John Rabe (Dutch Siemens employee who created a safe zone that saved thousands) and having read an earlier work by Ha Jin (The Crazed), I was looking forward to this one. It was ok - no where nearly as compelling as The Surrendered (Chaing Rae Lee ?)about a similar topic.
The most interesting things I learned were that Minnie Vautrin, the key protaganist, went to the University of Illinois and committed suicide.
The pettiness of the older women and key college benfactor, Mrs. Dennison, seemed contrived to me. Very "ugly American women". No one would be that evil and jealous in a missionary school, would they?
I think I'm reading and seeing too many WWII books and movies lately...