Extract from a novella
Finding a suitable wife in China: my choice or their?
To create a culturally focused novella about relationships in China
Research and experience of living in China
Time to completion
At nineteen, Li had fallen in love with Jiao, the daughter of his mentor. It was an innocent romance but deeply felt. He was heartbroken when her family moved to Shenzhen in the south a year later. He’d just completed his degree and made plans to follow her. He told his parents and packed his bags. His mother was so shocked at the thought of her eldest leaving their province that she’d collapsed on the street and had her purse, carrying a month’s salary, stolen while she lay on the sidewalk. That day, his father, equally distressed after learning of his son’s imminent departure, had a serious car accident. Seeing these events as omens, Li felt obliged to suppress his feelings. For the sake of filial piety, he stayed at home and played the respectful and dutiful son. He didn’t know it then, but that decision would weigh him down for years, like a cloak of melancholy that repelled any would-be bride his parents tried tirelessly to arrange. They failed to marry him off. Over the past twenty years, all that’s kept him afloat in the deep waters of his shattered dreams is the memory of innocent kisses under a cherry blossom tree.