The year is 1883.China is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. In the countryside, antagonismagainst foreigners and missionaries is growing and the warlords are at large. Li Ling, a youngpeasant girl in China, flees to Malaya to escape being made a concubine to awarlord, only to find herself tricked into becoming a second wife to a rich manwith sadistic tendencies. Her life becomes intertwined with that of herrescuer, Shao Peng, in a Malaya that is rapidly transforming under Britishrule. A Flash of Waterfollows New Beginnings and together with Sweet Offerings and Bitter-SweetHarvest forms a quadrilogy, which traces the lives of one family against theturbulent political, economic and social changes in China and Malaya. The booksare complete in themselves.