Slaughtering Girl is the story of a woman who knows how to use a cleaver. It’s a tale of passion, politics, love, and revolution set during a tumultuous period of Chinese history.
Born in 1902, Chen Liquan is an unusual child. Bigger by far than any baby the townspeople can recall, the child is prophesied to have a great future. Raised by her grandmother, a skilled slaughterer, the girl embarks on a career as a traveling performer. Satisfied at first, Liquan comes to see that her future lies elsewhere.
The life of the Slaughtering Girl is the story of twentieth-century China. Liquan’s teacher joins the 1911 revolution overthrowing the last Qing emperor and establishing the Chinese republic. When warlord armies threaten the countryside, Liquan must protect her town by leading an army of her own.
The Slaughtering Girl is successful in battle but disappointed in love until she is visited by a Red Army recruiter. It isn’t exactly the love she is expecting, but Liquan has come to accept that she is different.
There’s something just a bit off about the new aid worker, Janet McCann. The tall redhead with flaming ringlets arrives in Laos on a steamy August morning in 1961, on the same day that Fred Jenkins, a poultry expert, is found floating face down in the Mekong. When Jack Gold visits the office of his deceased drinking buddy, he finds the redhead’s long legs draped across his dead friend’s desk. Gold’s an Agency man, but it’s not his job to investigate Jenkins’ death. Not his job, that is, until the late poultry expert is suspected of having passed secrets to the Communists.
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2031 was the year of the great migration. The highways were crowded with travelers seeking their personal paradise. For some, the destination was a place where religion could be practiced without interference, for others, a place where God didn’t intrude; a place where the lives of the unborn were sacred or a place where a woman was in control of her own body; a place where good citizens were expected to carry guns to maintain order, or where the ownership of guns was forbidden.
With the passage of the 28th amendment, the nation recognized what the founders had failed to grasp, that the establishment of any federal law granted freedom to some and abridged the freedom of others. Such a situation could not be allowed to stand in a country where freedom was the guiding principle.
Dan Silver had originally opposed the amendment. He liked America just as it had been for most of his seventy years. Not that he’d agreed with everything the US had done over the years. As a teenager he’d marched against the war in Vietnam and more recently he’d been angered by the invasion of Iraq, but he maintained a certain nostalgia for the idea of America.
Now that the amendment had passed, however, Silver saw the implications. He could live his final years in a place about which he’d only dreamed. Silver would seize the day.