The Chen and von Steinitz families met during the Boxer War in 1900, when German troops occupied Peking. At that time, a friendship developed between a German officer and his Chinese negotiant.
As a result, two generations later, a little girl could be brought to safety in Brandenburg. Chen Yinna was 7 years old, when she came to Germany in 1937, because Shanghai was under Japanese occupation.
But soon the war was to influence her life a second time - with blackouts, air-raid warnings and refugees. Only years after the Second World War, Ina – as she was called in Germany – returned to her family. Barely able to speak Chinese and feeling completely disconnected to her native culture, she had to struggle a second time to settle down.
This extraordinary novel is based on a real biography and recounts the difficulties Ina faced acclimatising, as well as details of everyday life as experienced by a young foreigner in a small town in Nazi-Germany between 1937 and 1944.
Although the events are true, the characters have been fictionalised to some extent for artistic reasons.