This slim volume tells the story of a Chinese woman, married only one hundred days whose husband is declared dead when he is posted to Tibet with the Chinese Liberation Army. No other details are forthcoming, and so Shu Wen sets off to Tibet, as a medic. joining the army there, so that she can find out what has happened to her husband. The book follows her years in Tibet, and her search for information about her husband, and perhaps to find him alive still. It is charmingly told and gives one a real insight into the empty wastes of much of Tibet, the way of life of the nomadic herders, the strong religious aura of the people, and the stark differences from Chinese culture.
There are passages that touch on the reasons for the conflict and the differences between the perceptions of it within China and those that are evident when she is in Tibet and surrounded by Tibetans.
I will certainly look out for other of Xinran's tales of strong Chinese women.