They lived during perhaps the most volatile time in Chinese history. Yet brought up in the large and prosperous Chang family, they lived a comfortable life. With a loving, scholarly father and an equally scholarly and capable mother, they spent days memorizing and studying classic texts. But not forgetting the arts, they learned to sing and act in the form of Kun-Chu opera. Although separated when young, they reunited as teenagers and went on to live very different lives.
They were the Chang sisters, the four sisters of Hofei.
As author Annping Chin tells the story of these sisters, she discusses ancient Chinese customs of household management, gift-giving, and family affairs. I appreciate the strong values and family ties which Chinese have always had, but I much prefer living in today’s open society than the closed times of the 19th century, both intellectually and spiritually. For we have been called “out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).