as i read the last lines of the book, an image of a little girl kneeling in front of a chinese altar breezed into my mind.

the three storeys, reddish-brown zitan altar, was lit by three red bulbs screwed tightly onto the underside of each level, where half-burnt incense laid along with red plates of fresh fruits and porcelain statues and wooden frames of the chinese gods. and right there, in front of the altar, on the shiny red-wood floor, a six-year-old with long black hair and a neat straight bang, knelt with her hands clasped together in one straight line and murmured a prayer she’d learnt from school. for the health and happiness of her family. her chinese eyes fluttered and her small round cheeks wobbled as she said her prayer to the father, the son, and the holy spirit, in front of the chinese gods.