Shanghai, 1930s. . Heroine Xiao Feng must take her dead sister's place in an arranged marriage to Xiong Fa, a son from the prosperous Sang family.
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In 1930s Shanghai, following the path of duty takes precedence over personal desires for every young Chinese woman. For Feng, that means becoming the bride of a wealthy businessman in a marriage arranged by her parents. In the enclosed world of the Sang household—a place of public ceremony and private cruelty—she learns that fulfilling her duty means bearing a male heir.
Ruthless and embittered by a life that has been forced on her, Feng plots a terrible revenge. But as the years pass, she must come to a reckoning with the sacrifices and the terrible choices she has made to assure her place in family and society, before the entire country is engulfed in the fast-flowing tide of revolution.