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While most 16-year-old girls are planning their weddings, Xueyan, known as Yanyan, has no interest at all in marriage. She is fascinated by medicine. In China in 1921, women rarely attend university, let alone medical school. Still, Yanyan is determined to become a doctor. But Yanyan’s feelings about marriage change when she meets Liang Baoshu.
An outstanding scholar and martial arts student, Baoshu is passionate and dangerous. He is determined to rid China of the foreigners who occupy it and restore power to the Manchu dynasty. Life with him would be an adventure. But when Yanyan realizes that being with Baoshu would also mean sacrificing her dream of becoming a doctor, she faces the most difficult decision of her life. And her choice leads to an entirely new adventure an ocean away in America—where Yanyan is the foreigner.