Seventeen-year-old Ming and twenty-four-year-old Yan have very little in common other than studying in the same college. Ming, innocent and preoccupied, lives in her own world of books, music and imagination. Yan is, by contrast, sexy but cynical, beautiful but wild. She uses her looks to get what she wants from the many men in her life.
When the two girls meet, and become best friends, Ming's world is changed forever. She is attracted to Yan's free-spirit, while Yan yearns for the kind of stability Ming's seriousness can bring. But the differences in upbringing and ideologies ultimately drive a wedge between them, leaving each to face her own dark secret alone.
Narrated by an adult Ming, February Flowers is a finely wrought coming-of-age novel, and the story of a bond between two very different girls in modern China. It is a meditation on love, loss and redemption, and how a background shapes a life.
Fan Wu grew up on a farm in southern China, where her parents were exiled during the Cultural Revolution. She moved to the United States in 1997 to attend Stanford University, and started writing in 2002. She lives and works in northern California. February Flowers is her first novel.