This subject matter in Twin Sisters still highly controversial for a novel in China.
This book reveals an army cadre seducing a girl that comes from deep in the author's memories from her childhood. She was author’s neighbour who gave up her virginity in an attempt to gain her mother’s freedom, a beautiful girl with a slightly pale face, often in tears at home; this is the prototype of YingLi. YongHong is a typical representative of the Red Guards who denounced the capitalist roaders, and traitors, who often were family members or neighbours; creating many grievances, and injustices.
This book differs from most accounts of the Cultural Revolution that label the "Red Guards" as a "sin" or criminals; this book explains firsthand the motivations, influences, mentality, and personal growth of the fanatical Red Guards.
Twin Sisters, reveals the characters of many different people in great depth; Lian was a woman who’s good intentions were betrayed by the party, lost the love of her life, and lived with life-long regret, and suffering. Zhang was disabled in a battle on the Russian frontier due to the incompetence of his captain and later died at the hands of his wife. Crippled Sun was a veteran of the Korean war that had cost him a leg, became a hero, and the work group leader in his village; who went on to recruit and abduct women as incentives for the village men to produce more. LinLin was a college professor who lost his position because of his wife; he went on to become a refuse collector, and was subsequently accused of being an anti-revolutionary and condemned.
The innocence of juveniles, justice, and the goodness of people are portrayed in depth; as are the rivalry and confrontations of opposing factions of the Red Guards, as well as life in the countryside versus the city.
It is acknowledged by historians that history has usually been written about leaders, and the victorious; that history has been written by or for the winners. Twin Sisters is a departure from the traditional; depicting the real lives of common people impartially in historical context.
Because the subject matter Twin Sisters is still considered "too sensitive" for Chinese publishers it has not been published in book form in China yet. I hope that this book will give English readers the same surprises, insights, and delights as the Chinese who have read it. Twin Sisters has received great acclaim on the web in China, and among Chinese living in North America.