Moon Pearl
by McCunn, Ruthanne Lum







Author's Noteix
Prologue1(4)
1826-1833
Girls' Houses
5(12)
Shadow
17(10)
A Bird Snared in a Trap
27(11)
Dreams of Happiness
38(12)
Wily as a Fox
50(11)
A Dead, Stinking Fate
61(14)
1836-1837
A Matchmaker's Claims
75(9)
A Red Affair
84(12)
Wife
96(10)
Insides Turned Upside Down
106(10)
Struggling Woman
116(10)
The Big Wind
126(11)
1837-1838
The Best Thing
137(9)
Vows of Spinsterhood
146(10)
Gwoon Yum's Song
156(9)
New Lives
165(10)
Only One Heaven
175(8)
A Lick of Hope
183(9)
Outcasts
192(9)
Opposite Sides
201(10)
1838
Mountain Pines
211(10)
Dead Useless
221(8)
Freedom
229(10)
Magpies Cry and Caw
239(8)
A Miracle
247(10)
Tongues as Swords
257(12)
1838-1840
Tipping the Scales
269(8)
Mercies
277(7)
A Stranger
284(6)
Sisters
290(8)
Changing Luck
298(7)
Capable Women
305(8)
Acknowledgments313


Follows the lives of three young girls in nineteenth century China after they pledge never to take on the traditional roles of wives or nuns.





Ruthanne Lum McCunn is the critically acclaimed author of Sole Survivor, which the Dallas Times hailed as “a book of major interest and importance by an American-Chinese author of remarkable talent,” Wooden Fish Songs, Thousand Pieces of Gold, and Chinese American Portraits, as well as the children‘s book Pie-Biter, which won the American Book Award. Her work has been translated into nine languages, published in sixteen countries, and adapted for the stage and film.





In China's Pearl River Delta in the 1830s, three young women come together in a "girls house," where they will learn the mournful songs and the abject obedience required of maidens about to be married. They know that their arranged marriages will separate them from their friends and family and that a bad one can seal a woman's fate to a life of cruelty and oppression by the husband and her in-laws. Shadow, who has secretly learned to read, struggles with tradition and her own sense of independence. She, Mei Ju, and Rooster deny tradition by taking vows of spinsterhood, but not becoming nuns, and begging the public for support. They plan to support themselves by working. But their defiance costs them their relationships with family and friends as the village ostracizes them and few will help them in their struggle to find food and shelter. This novel was inspired by the spinsterhood movement in China in the nineteenth century. ((Reviewed August 2000)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews






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