For readers of Pachinko and The Mountains Sing, a gorgeously poetic family saga that begins at the dawn of the Chinese Revolution and spans 100 years to trace the intricate lives of four generations of Chinese and Chinese American women grappling with history, obligations, betrayal, and love in order to come into their own power and learn not just how to survive but flourish.
A captivating and intimate debut novel interwoven with folktale and myth, Wendy Chen’s Their Divine Fires tells the story of the love affairs of three generations of Chinese women across one hundred years of revolutions both political and personal.
In 1949, at the dawn of the Chinese Revolution, Yunhong grows up in the southern China countryside and falls in love with the son of a wealthy landlord. Yet on the night of her wedding, her brother destroys the marriage before it has even lasted a day. Yunhong’s daughter Yuexin will never know her father. She passes that sorrow onto her daughters Hongxing and Yonghong, who come of age in the years following Mao’s death, battling the push and pull of political forces as they forge their own paths. Each generation guards its secrets, leaving Emily, living in contemporary America, to piece together what actually happened between her mother, her sister, and the weight of their shared history.
Drawing on the stories of her great-grandmother and her great-uncles—both of whom fought on the side of the Communists—as well as her mother’s experiences during the Cultural Revolution, Wendy Chen infuses Their Divine Fires with a passion that will transport the reader back to powerful moments in history. At once a brilliant and haunting novel, Their Divine Fires is perfect for fans of C. Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills is Gold and Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s The Mountains Sing.