In 1903, a young Scotswoman named Mary Mackenzie sets sail for China to marry her betrothed, a military attaché in Peking. But soon after her arrival, Mary falls into an adulterous affair with a young Japanese nobleman, scandalizing the British community. Casting her out of the European community, her compatriots tear her away from her small daughter. A woman abandoned and alone, Mary learns to survive over forty tumultuous years in Asia, including two world wars and the cataclysmic Tokyo earthquake of 1923.
Oswald Wynd (1913-1998) was born in Tokyo to Scottish missionaries and spent his formative years in Japan. He attended the University of Edinburgh and joined the Scots Guards in 1939. During World War II, Wynd spent three years as a Japanese prisoner of war; it was at this time that he began to write seriously. He is the author of many novels including The Blazing Air and Death the Red Flower. Under the pseudonym Gavin Black, Wynd wrote many well-received thrillers. He died in Scotland.