Young Australian writer Kate James, armed with a copy of Monkey, a Mandarin phrasebook and a craving for skewered lamb, travels across the deserts of north-west China in search of three early-20th century Christian missionary women and their Mongolian adopted daughter.Kate James grew up among missionaries in India but rejected her family's faith. However she became drawn to the writings of three missionaries known as the Trio. Mildred Cable and the sisters Eva and Francesca French were indomitable and independent English women who spent most of their lives in China, adopted a deaf Mongolian daughter called Topsy and braved sandstorms and warlords to cross the barren Gobi desert on a Bible-laden donkey cart six times between 1923 and 1936. Kate was tired of aimless travel and the backpacker scene, so she decided to follow the Trio through the sands, from their girl's school in central China along the Silk Road into Central Asia, the monasteries of Tibet and into China's Muslim provinces.Throughout the journey Kate drew inspiration from the Trio. She also discovered something amazing in following their footsteps: religion was now thriving in China. Their legacy was alive in spite of nearly sixty years of communism. Like socialism, it has taken on Chinese characteristics.
About the Author
Kate James has travelled extensively, worked as an English teacher in India, as a journalist on country and suburban newspapers and is currently an editor with Lonely Planet.
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