When six-year-old Taotao is sent by her mother to live with her grandparents, her whole world seems to have fallen apart. Only in later years does she learn of her mother's secret pain - her own father's fall from grace in the Cultural Revolution - and come to understand the sacrifice she has made for her daughter. STARTLING MOON looks back to a past of rich but suppressed tradition, and forward to a very different China. Above all, it is the story of Taotao's quest to know her own heart, and of the blossoming of a passion which will lead her to risk all that she holds dear.
Liu Hong was born in a Manchurian town, and grew up in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. She studied English Literature at University, and worked in Beijing as a translator. Following the events in Tiananmen Square she left China to study in the UK, where she met and married her English husband. She now lives in Wiltshire, with her young daughter.