Xing Xing's mother and father have passed away, leaving her living with her stepmother and stepsister to live in a cave in China. The stepsister treats Xing Xing more like a slave, calling her Lazy One and making her do all the chores while her stepsister has her feet bound in order to help her find a husband. Xing Xing and her stepsister don't have a bad relationship, so Xing Xing doesn't mind helping her sister who is obviously in pain from her aching feet. Xing Xing takes solace in a beautiful fish she befriends in the pond by her home, believing that it is the spirit of her mother.
This is an Asian Cinderella story that is quite cute. Unfortunately the ending is quite abrupt and leaves you wanting a bit more resolution. A cute story and an easy read.
First Line: "Xing Xing squatted by the water, silent and unmoving."