Spinning the Baiji
Liu Lin watches her handsome neighbour, Li SunLee, at work on the Yangtze river. There's excitement as the local fishermen haul up their catch, but it's only a porpoise and not the prize they seek-the fabled baiji or white dolphin, a true rarity. Lin's life is mapped out for her, even though she's still young-she will study hard and become an office worker, making money to send to her family. But Lin has dreams beyond this destiny, and as part of a family of seers, she's sure fate has something else in store.

She doesn't expect sorrow when SunLee's future bride is named as Mei, Lin's older sister. Lin is devastated, knowing that SunLee's oneness with his world will be destroyed by his new job in the city, and Lin is certain Mei, who craves material success, is completely wrong for SunLee. Then Lin finds a baiji, and this creature, part real, part dream, unites her with SunLee, and they realise their destinies belong together

Spinning The Baiji is a unique story, full or poetry and deeply layered with a mysticism that stands in direct contrast to the reality of the modernised, Westernised world encroaching upon China. With lots of evocative detail, Nancy A. Lindley-Gauthier paints a vivid picture of Lin's life and surroundings, twisting in the mystical element until the boundaries of reality and the supernatural world blur. I particularly liked the character of Lin's great-grandfather, who sees everything and guides Lin gently towards her happy ending. If you enjoy stories that question fate, destiny, and swimming against the tide, this could be for you.

Reviewed by: Maija