World War II, Japan invaded China starting from the Northeast territory to Nanking, the capital of the Republic of China.
This is a fictional tale of our heroine Jasmine Bai, whose bravery and compassion helped many after the Nanking massacre. We follow Jasmine’s story from Chunking, where she is an art student, to Nanking, where she discovers that she is too late to convince her parents to leave for the safety zone, to a remote fictitious region, Village of the Peach Blossoms in Yunnan Province.
In the summer of 1942, Jasmine and Daisy Bai, her cousin, witness a plane crash. They discover the pilot is Danny Hardy, a member of the acclaimed courageous American Volunteer Group, Flying Tigers. She nurses wounded Danny back to health with nothing but forget-me-not flowers, sweet wormwood, and her own body heat.
Birch Bai, Jasmine’s cousin and Daisy’s older brother bravely fighting for his country also helps save Danny’s life. They have both endured so much together, that they became sworn blood brothers, as Birch joins the Flying Tigers becoming his wingman; they have shot down numerous Japanese planes.
The author, Iris Yang does a great job describing in detail the atrocities of what occurred during that dark time in history. The Japanese hunting down and murdering Chinese Nationalists and innocent villagers or anyone suspected of harboring Nationalists. The torture, mutilation and rape of 20,000 Chinese women, even parading them naked to boost “Japanese morale.” At the same time, she juxtaposes it with bravery, courage, compassion, determination, heartache, sacrifice and struggles of our main characters. If you love historical fiction, this one might interest you.