Siew Tsin's early death has landed her in an unexpected place - in the tenth court of hell, where the dead bribe the hell officials to keep them out of torment and to keep them from being reborn. But Junsheng, her husband, is playing a dangerous game, and Yonghua, his terracotta third wife, is at the centre of it all.
I don't know how to describe this novelette other than it's East meets West. It's a fascinating look into Chinese beliefs of the afterlife versus simplified versions of Christianity as disseminated by well-meaning nuns in mission schools in Malaysia (Popular theology is not always accurate).
Yangsze Choo delves into this in The Ghost Bride too, and I suppose I find it fascinating mainly because I have no personal experience of learning these things while growing up.
Cho's writing is exquisite, as usual; simple, and yet enticing, witty in an understated way. She pulls you into the story, spitting you out at the end thoroughly satisfied.
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)