The Christian Science Monitor

'Our Story' offers a graphic glimpse of a China that no longer exists

China, 1946. Barely emerging from the Second Sino-Japanese war, the country was now torn by a civil war between the Communist Party and the Nationalist Party (KMT). A young KMT soldier took leave from the army to meet with the woman his family had arranged for him to marry. Her name was Mao Meitang, “beautiful crabapple flower” in Chinese. She was smart, beautiful, fun-loving. His name was Rao Pingru, “peace and contentment.” He was generous, caring, unwilling to fight his fellow Chinese.

The couple dreamed of leading a pastoral life, like those depicted in ancient Chinese poems – “making do with simple clothes and food and living out our days, with no need for distant travels.” But they had no idea that “the China of old

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