Young Peony is sold into a rich Chinese household as a bondmaid -- an awkward role in which she is more than a servant, but less than a daughter. As she grows into a lovely, provocative young woman, Peony falls in love with the family's only son. However, tradition forbids them to wed. How she resolves her love for him and her devotion to her adoptive family unfolds in this profound tale, based on true events in China over a century ago.
Contains a map detailing Jewish migration and a timeline. This is the story of a culture within a culture. The conflict between the two cultures comes out as a love affair develops between two young people. Peony is classic Pearl Buck showing not only the conflict of the new and old ways but the difficulty in a society where there was no discrimination against the Jews.