Publish Date: April 1, 2011
Origins: From Publisher for Review
Format: Trade Paperback
Order From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: As a girl growing up in Hong Kong, Lily Lin was captivated by photographs of the desert - its long, lonely vistas and shifting sand dunes. Now living in New York, Lily is struggling to finish her graduate degree when she receives an astonishing offer. An aunt she never knew existed will pay Lily a huge sum to travel across China's desolate Taklamakan Desert - and carry out a series of tasks along the way.
Intrigued, Lily accepts. Her assignments range from the dangerous to the bizarre. Lily must seduce a monk. She must scrape a piece of clay from the famous Terracotta Warriors, and climb the Mountains of Heaven to gather a rare herb. At Xian, her first stop, Lily meets Alex, a young American with whom she forms a powerful connection. And soon, she faces revelations that will redefine her past, her destiny, and the shocking truth behind her aunt's motivations...
Review: Overall, I did enjoy the book. I just wasn't a huge fan of Lily's. I thought she was a bit shallow and mean when it came to her relationships and I didn't feel like she grew a whole lot during the course of the book. However, I loved Ms. Yip's graceful storytelling. The landscapes and people really leapt off of the pages for me. I loved learning about culture and geography I never knew much about before. Ms. Yip has a wonderful voice and I know she'll go far as a writer.