This is the story of three generations of women in a Chinese family and mirrors the tumultuous history of twentieth–century China. Jung Chang’s grandmother was born into the feudal China of 1909. Her feet were bound and at the age of 15 she was given to a warlord general as a concubine. Her daughter grew up in occupied Manchuria and became active in the underground Nationalist movement. Jung Chang herself became a Red Guard but eventually came to question Mao—a step which was to have momentous consequences for her and her family.