“Ma successfully creates vivid settings in Los Angeles and China as she uncovers important issues facing Asian Americans, including family expectations, identity, sacrifice and honour.”
School Library Journal
“Soap-opera–worthy twists are grounded by ties to significant events in contemporary Chinese history in this meaningful debut.” KIRKUS
The first book in an epic and romantic YA series following the fictionalized descendants of the only officially recognized empress regent of China
Gemma Huang is a recent transplant to Los Angeles from Illinois, having abandoned plans for college to pursue a career in acting, much to the dismay of her parents. Now she’s living with three roommates in a two-bedroom hovel, auditioning for bit roles that hardly cover rent. Gemma’s big break comes when she’s asked to play a lead role in an update of M. Butterfly filming for the summer in Beijing. When she arrives, she’s stopped by paparazzi at the airport. She quickly realizes she may as well be the twin of one of the most notorious young socialites in Beijing. Thus kicks off a summer of revelations, in which Gemma uncovers a legacy her parents have spent their lives protecting her from-one her mother would conceal from her daughter at any cost.
Diana Ma is a debut Chinese-American author who holds a BA in creative writing from the University of Washington and an MA in English with a creative writing focus from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She lives in a suburb of Seattle.