This sequel to Empire of the Sun begins in Shanghai toward the close of the war. Young James goes from the prison camp to England, a wrenching change. It takes years -- through prep school, medical school and the Royal Air Force -- for him to find his balance. He finally settles into a happy period of family life.
But a sudden tragedy shatters his idyllic world, and James falls headlong into the craze of the 1960s. It's through the kindness of women in his life that he's led to confront the traumas of his childhood.