Leah and her female parent Joan are on a plane to China in hunt of the beginnings of a cryptic half a coin that was sent to Joan from her male parent. Leah is non thrilled to be traveling. Leah does non see herself as Chinese. We find out that Leah’s male parent has died of malignant neoplastic disease and they are following the coin for him. because he was truly funny about where the other half of the coin is. Joan is spooked by what she sees on Television – a pupil public violence.
Joan and Leah go to the Qingping Market.Leah notices that China is altering Joan – she is going “Chinese” – a side of Joan that Leah has non seen earlier. They meet a immature adult male who is seting up marks about democracy.
We learn that Leah and Joan come from Chatswood NSW. They and Joan caput to Good Field Village. They find the Ji household. which is her household and meet Chou Yin Yu ( Silver Jade ) . Grandfather. Swallow and Chained Dragon. Leah sees more transmutation of Joan as she introduces herself as Ji Feng Hua and this makes Leah experience entirely. They find out that Grandfather is Joan’s father’s brother.
Joan shows them the missive from her male parent that arrived with the coin. Swallow ‘adopts’ Leah as a sister. We learn about some of the history of Communist China. We besides learn that pupils are protesting in Beijing.
We learn that Joan’s grandfather started the small town 80 old ages ago. They go to the small town graveyard. Leah is get downing to experience a sense of belonging to these sort people – her self image is altering every bit good. and being portion Chinese doesn’t seem like such a bad thing now. Grandfather Tells about how he and his brother got separated and asks about how rich Joan’s male parent was. He says that he thought his brother would come back and assist them financially. Joan gets rather defensive of her male parent. They have a large feast after Joan returns from the metropolis with their bags.
Leah realises she doesn’t truly cognize her female parent Joan really good. Leah overhears Grandfather and Jade speaking about the coin. She learns that Grandfather is maintaining them at that place because he thinks they will supply them with money. Jade is against this and doesn’t want Joan’s money. Leah tells Joan and they realise the other half of the coin is non in the small town. Grandfather says they must travel to Turtle Land Village to happen the replies.
Joan and Leah catch a train to Shanghai. They meet a adult female who is a Communist Party functionary. She is ill-mannered and opprobrious to them. Leah sees that China can be a unsafe topographic point. We find out that Joan is afraid of the students/riots because when she was small at that place had been anti Chinese public violences in Penang and their shop had been burnt down.
Leah stops being angry with Joan They are in Shanghai. Leah is taking exposures when a group of pupils being chased by soldiers. run down the street and hit her and she is knocked to the land. She is separated from Joan and is forced to happen her manner back to the motel on her ain. When she returns Joan is huffy and abuses Leah. We find out that she had been terrified that Leah had been taken off by the rabble. They leave the motel a twosome of yearss subsequently to happen a boat to take them to the small town. Students are processing in the streets and they have problem acquiring through. The pupils are transporting streamers and contending for freedom. Leah smilings at the pupils and is friendly but Joan reprimands her because she doesn’t want the soldiers or constabularies to believe she is one of them.
They travel along the Yangtze River. They both remember how they had found out about Leah’s dad’s malignant neoplastic disease. They are charged as tourers in the boat’s eating house – Joan will non pay duplicate the cost and chows below with the 3rd category riders. Joan will non be pushed around. There is still tenseness between Joan and Leah over the incident where Leah had been separated from her female parent and Joan had blamed Leah. They learn that the protests are non merely in one topographic point. but all over China. Joan is worried about their safety and about being trapped in China. Joan thinks Leah doesn’t like China.
Leah thinks Joan wanted to bury her father’s decease excessively rapidly and hotfoot them off to China. Joan explains to her girl what it was like to be 8 and witness a atrocious rabble scene. Joan explains that one time their store had been burnt. they left Penang and went to Singapore. Her doctrine is that one time things are gone. you must alter – turn away. Leah thinks her female parent brought them to China to bury her pa – she doesn’t truly understand what Joan is stating.
They board the 2nd river boat. Leah is confused about her mother’s actions/motives in work outing the enigma of the coin. Joan seems non to speak about her dead hubby really much. As the boat moves along the river Leah reminisces about when Dad was deceasing. We find out all the inside informations and that Leah was huffy with her Dendranthema grandifloruom after her pa dies. As the boat trip becomes “over” there is a connexion with her father’s passing. Leah says. “We’ve been through a batch eh? ” They are get downing to mend and go closer to one another.
Students are protesting in the town. Leah goes out for a walk around the town. Leah and a immature adult female are taking exposures. The immature adult female tells Leah that 1000 pupils are on a hungriness work stoppage in Beijing. in Tiananmen Square Leah identifies herself with this miss and realises she is merely like her. Arriving in Chonqing. Leah goes out and sees a protest. She finds out that there’s one miss in the protest that looks a batch like her “the same size as me. the same smiling as me” . She besides says that: “I could be her” – she starts to place herself as a Chinese.
Leah thinks things are altering – Joan seems happier and more relaxed. They have problem happening Turtle Land Village. Joan is discouraged and wants to travel place. Leah comes back to the metropolis and proudly Tells Joan about her cognition about the political state of affairs of China while Joan doesn’t attention. They don’t care the same thing However they both urgently go expression for their small town even though there is non hints.
They meet Ke. a pupil who is protesting. He takes them to Red Star Village. They meet Tong. a instructor. who tells them that Red Star Village was one time known as Turtle Land Village. They are left with the last hope that is “The ruddy star” small town. While waiting for the cab to be fixed. Leah tells Joan to travel walk and happen the small town as it is the “final flicker” – Leah is truly serious in happening the small town. Tong tells them that the small town was called “Turtle Land” – the potency of happening their household additions.
Joan is run over by a bike driven by Heng ( a Communist Party member ) Heng blames Joan for the accident Joan is taken to the infirmary Ke reads the missive and realises that Leah and Joan are household Hearing the clang. Leah runs toward Joan as Joan is lying injured in the route near the bike. Leah shows her strong emotion reaction toward Joan’s accident and alternatively of call Joan Joan. she calls her Mum. A strong sense of belonging between them. Leah concerns about Joan deep much Ke reads the missive and finds out something. he tells Heng that Leah is supposed to travel to his family’s house as she is portion of the household – a new sense of belonging is built
Introduced to Ke’s female parent. Li-Nan They discuss the Ji name and how what Grandfather had written in the missive could be Zhou alternatively of Ji. doing Ke. Tong and Li-Nan household Following Ke’s account about different significances of a Chinese name. Leah realises she no longer translates Chinese into English. she realises that she starts to “think Chinese”. She feels like a existent Chinese. she accepts her Chinese self Li-nan Tells Leah that no affair the name is. no affair if Leah is the relations or non. she is in Li-nan’s house. she is a portion of it. Li-nan gives Leah a sense of belonging by accepting and welcoming her to the household.
Leah discovers that she truly wants to be portion of this household. She can experience a connexion to them and gain she is altering Ke takes the twenty-four hours off protesting to demo Leah around the small town They visit Joan in infirmary. We learn about how Turtle Land Village got its name Leah walks in Turtle Land Village and realises that the small town is different from the Good Field. She feels that she really wants to be a Turtle Land villager. She eventually wants to hold a connexion to China.
Joan is suffering in infirmary and wants urgently to acquire out She inquiries Leah about the Zhou household and if they truly are related Leah comes to see her female parent for the 2nd clip. Unlike the first clip. Joan is now much more energetic and starts to kick about her life in the infirmary. She becomes leery and uncertainty Ke’s household that possibly they are non household. they are merely utilizing Leah to take Joan’s money. Leah feel disturbance about what Joan says. She like Ke’s household and doesn’t want other to state bad things about it. even from her ain female parent.
Leah truly wants to belong to the small town. She says to Ke: “The small town. You truly think it’s mine. don’t you? ” “Definitely. Yours every bit much as mine. ” Smiling. waiting. We find out that Ke’s male parent has been killed. Ke tells Leah that there were 1 million dissenters in Tiananmen Square and they were non merely pupils. He is excited about the intelligence. Russia’s Gorbachev tells Deng he has a revolution on his custodies Ke Tells Leah about the timeline of the protests.
Ke tells Leah that they want an terminal to corruptness – they want Change – they want Democracy – A Fair Chance – Freedom. We learn Heng is the Communist Party Head cat in the small town and even though he merely has the same land as everyone else. how does he afford a minibike and a color Television? His boy runs a factory… There is no equality in the Communist Party Ke tells Leah that his male parent was a poet and was killed by the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution. because of his poesy. Ke’s female parent concerns about his engagement in the Marches because she knows what could go on to him. Leah and Ke portion a minute of connexion when she tells him that her male parent died besides. As Ke tells Leah about his father’s decease. she thinks about her female parent and happen out that all Joan does is merely because she doesn’t want to lose Leah- her lone girl. Lead understands her female parent more and hence. get down to forgive her. The river bank is where Ke and Leah comes together and speak to each other. It is the topographic point that their relationship is built up as they besides know more about each other.
Ke has to travel into Chengdu and his female parent is worried about the danger – He is non. but is excited to see how the protests are traveling Leah feeds the animate beings and helps out Li-Nan takes Leah to see Joan in the infirmary Li-Nan and Joan eventually connect and Leah feels a spot left out as they talk about their kids and the concerns they have for them She is sad that Joan is opening up to Li-Nan alternatively of her Ke and Leah doing gag with each other. name each other “Orphan” and “Pig” and inquire about the yesterday’s “unhappiness” – they are acquiring truly near as they can speak freely to each other. they understand each other. Li-nan goes to the infirmary with Leah. she meets Joan. At first Joan was so cold and average to her but so after some words. they are going friends as they all have the same hurting ( husband’s decease ). A similarity can convey people together. Joan asks Leah to travel out so she and Li-nan have a infinite to speak about their hubby. Leah feels sad as Joan ever kicks her out of conversations about his pa. She feels like an castaway and admirations herself that why everybody gets to cognize Joan better than her.
Leah meets Tong whilst she is out walking He takes her to his school and she notices how different it looks than her school The get Tong’s coin book out to seek to happen out more about the coin We learn that when Mao launched the Cultural Revolution the authorities made Tong scrub lavatories alternatively of write books. and they killed his brother for his poesy. We learn that their male parent was made out to be a bad Chinese because he was a good husbandman and so Tong says their lives were ruined Tong agrees with the protests and what they hope to accomplish. but he says it is really hard to convey about alteration Leah sees Tong outside the school and goes with him to see the book which might assist them happen out about the coin Tong apologizes to Leah about his attitude the other twenty-four hours. Leah says to him that it is all right. They now understand each other and acquire closer. Leah knows more about the state of affairs in China. as all the official parties are perverting while the people are deceasing in poorness.
Ke returns from Chengdu with intelligence that the metropolis is under besieging with pupils and workers and other protestors. even the constabulary do non desire to halt them We learn some of the Communist leaders had come out to speak to the pupils Heng speaks about back uping the pupils and stoping corruptness In the cafe . Tong says that he likes Leah and even if she is non household. he would get married her into the household ( to Ke ) so that she could be portion of his household – their relationship is acquiring nearer as Tong wants Leah to be portion of his household. Ke comes back and tells everyone about the state of affairs of the protest. Heng out of the blue says that he is in support of the pupils and attempts to explicate that he is non perverting.
Leah Tells Ke how his female parent concerns about him Ke describes how he had his female parent bonded after his male parent had died – how working the field together brought them closer together Ke takes Leah to the Paddy and state her that is the Paddy was dug by Li-nan and him. Ke explains how Li-nan did to get the better of the hurting of his father’s decease. Just like Joan. Li-nan kept herself and ke busy so they didn’t have clip to believe about Ke’s male parent. Working together for so long. they became friends and so the Paddy was non of import any longer. they reached their end. Ke tells Leah that he agrees with the manner his female parent get the better ofing the hurting and so should Leah. Leah realises that possibly Joan wants the trip to China their “paddy”.
Tong arrives with intelligence of the coin – it is older than the small town On the manner to the infirmary Leah admirations why other people know Joan better than she does Leah remembers her female parent weeping when she had read the missive from her male parent. She realises that she has non thought about how losing her male parent and her hubby has affected her female parent. Leah confesses to her Dendranthema grandifloruom that she is covetous that Joan negotiations to other people about how she feels. but non to Leah. Ke had asked why they had come to China and at first it was for other people. but they both realise that now it is for themselves – Leah feels a great sense of household and belonging: “But this is my household now! ”
Leah tells about Ke and Li-Nan delving the Paddy and how that made them closer. Possibly this Hunt for the coin is their ‘paddy’ and will convey them closer Li-Nan interruptions into a bole that was her hubbies. and is now Ke’s. looking for the other half of the coin They find the other half of the coin in a piece of bamboo and are really aroused Leah remarks:
“This is household. Leah thought …and hugged them both back. What a great twenty-four hours. ” On the manner to the infirmary. Leah asks herself why people get to cognize Joan better than her. and so she put herself in Joan’s places and finds out the reply herself. She understands why Joan did all the things. In the infirmary. Leah honestly asks Joan and Joan opens her head to Leah. They get together and go closer. Leah realises that her intent of the trip is changed. she is no longer at that place for her Dad but for herself. She wants to be a portion of Ke’s household. Leah gets place and helps Li-nan explore her husband’s thorax. They find the other half coin in the bamboo. Leah feels alleviations as she sees the coin eventually fit together absolutely. Ke’s household is genuinely her household. Leah is so happy as what she wants now comes true. She besides notices that Ke is non at that place and asks for Ke. Leah misses Ke and likes Ke so much that she wants to portion her happy minute with him.
Li-Nan says that Leah must state Joan about the coin. but Leah says. “We’ll tell her. Together. ” They find a piece of paper in the bamboo stick Ke arrives place and tells them that Deng has declared Martial Law and soldiers have been brought in to halt them protestors Ke wants to travel to the metropolis once more but Li-Nan convinces him to remain place because of the danger. He is non happy. He apologies for dragging Leah into the political problem and she surprises herself by stating. “I want to be portion of it. ” Ke is criticised by his friends for non traveling to Chengdu and he is left shouting They are able to read portion of the paper and it was written by Ke and Leah’s great gramps Leah visits Joan in infirmary. Joan says. “You’re perfect. Fantastic people. A household. ” “It is fantastic to happen a friend and cognize that she is household excessively. ” We learn the coin was found by the great gramps when he was delving the field and he had broken it into halves. He took it to a wise adult female in his small town to see if it was of any value. Ke and Leah find the mattock that had been used by the great gramps to divide the coin.
News comes back from the metropolis that Deng has surrendered. The pupils are turning in Numberss and are being joined by 1000s of others. Soldiers have turned back. They are all shouting “people Power. ” “Down with Deng and Li Peng. ” We find out more from the old page…The old adult female had told the great gramps that the coin was worthless but was an omen and would divide his household because he had split the coin News once more of the protest. . Nothing has happened. Tens of 1000s of protestors. constabularies and ground forces. with no motion On Ke’s return we find out that non as many people are processing as earlier. Zhao has been pushed aside. . Ke is depressed They have the whole of the coil translated now. but Ke is excessively distracted by the protest to be excited
We learn that after the coin was found. and the portents given. the small town suffered famine and inundations and difficult times. We find that Bi has had to go forth the small town to travel and hunt for better land to back up his household. The male parent gives his boy half the coin to retrieve this broken household. Leah gives the two halves of the coin to Ke. As the protesting state of affairs is acquiring worse. Li-nan doesn’t want Ke to travel any longer because she is afraid to lose Ke. Ke loath agree to remain. Ke goes speak to his friends to happen out more about the existent thing go oning in the protest. The pupils say that they need Ke but Ke tells them he can’t travel. They criticise Ke and he feels guilty. he is losing his sense of belonging toward the protest group Leah. Tong and Li-nan come to the infirmary to state Joan that they are household. Joan is happy as finally she could happen her ain household.
The authorities stops the trains running so the pupils can’t travel to the Marches. Ke feels they have failed in their effort to alter things. Ke says that the lone of import topographic point to March is Tiananmen. Li-Nan says she will non allow him travel at that place and he says he must There is an statement about Ke’s engagement in the protests. but he has already bought his train ticket and she realises she can non halt him. They hug. He says it will be alright. but his face is pale.
Ke has been gone for two yearss Leah thinks about how long she has been in China and how she ne’er wanted to come. She says of herself. “No. you’re non Chinese. but you’re non non Chinese either. It doesn’t affair any longer. ” She is happening her topographic point. Leah doesn’t want to go forth China without seeing Ke. She thinks about him in a romantic kind of manner Heng arrives in the small town and Leah realises he has fertiliser… ( the other villagers have none ) Leah goes place and Tells Tong what she has seen. Tong gets some people up and the caput to Heng’s. they shame Heng into sharing the fertilizer with the small town Joan gets out of infirmary
Leah and Joan leave the small town to get down header place Leah walks in the small town herself at dark. she realises that she is now familiar with the small town and China. She gets accepted by people and even the animate beings ( Canis familiaris. duck… ) and she feels happy about it. she about accepts her Chinese individuality by stating: “NO you’re non Chinese but you’re non non Chinese either. It doesn’t affair anymore” Leah finds Heng mousing on the root with his motorcycle and a truck. she smells the fertilizer in Heng’s truck and realises Heng is in secret taking all the fertilizer for his ain. Leah runs back place to state Tong. They catch Heng and take away all of his fertilizer bags. Leah is a hero of the villager. she is happy that she could assist them. She is a existent portion of the small town now. Leaving the small town with Joan. Leah feels commiseration and sad. she wants to remain longer.
Joan tells Leah that she can travel to Tiananmen to see Ke Leah sees a batch of people in Tiananmen Square A adult male helps Leah acquire closer to a ‘statue’ – the ‘Goddess of Democracy’ trusting she will happen Ke there.
Leah finds Ke Ke tells her many have been there for a month and they will non give up Ke shows Leah a piece of glass that he got the coins set in. she takes it to demo Joan and promises to return tomorrow She kisses him. Leah goes to happen Ke and sees him with 1000s of pupils in the Tiananmen. Ke gives Leah the glass egg in which the two halves of the coin are encased. The halves are separated by the bubble symbolise that Ke and Leah cant acquire together. the new China buzzword be accepted by the old govermnet.
Leah is woken at dark. She thinks it is the sound of crackers at a nuptials. Joan and Leah go to the great wall. Joan starts to speak about David with Leah. They are acquiring closer.
Leah finds out that something bad has happened at Tiananmen. Leah travels to Tiananmen and finds out that the soldiers attacked the pupils the dark before. Ke has non contacted them. Leah feels lost and sad as the eating house proprietor tells her that the Tiananmen is gone. people got killed. She worries about Ke.
Leah goes out for a walk in hunt of Ke or some intelligence. She sees soldiers and fire out trucks and is about shot by a soldier. who shoots another immature adult female alternatively.
Leah and Joan wait in the hotel. trusting to be contacted by Ke The Australian Embassy evacuates Leah and Joan from the motel to a safer location We learn through a re-tell from one of the pupils what must hold happened at Tiananmen the dark of the slaughter They are evacuated once more to the airdrome. where they will go forth for Australia Leah remembers that Ke had said that the Egg with the coin in it was China The world that Ke is dead hits them both and they think of hapless Li-Nan They cleaving to each other for comfort as they leave China behind Joan and Leah receive the call from the Australian embassy and follow them to the safe topographic point. Leah urgently waits for Ke’s call. trusting he is alright. Leah thinks about the coin as a symbol for so many things. She realises that after all. the coin merely leads to an accident. which she doesn’t privation to. After all. Joan and Leah acquire together.