For Neville "Bunt" Mullard and his mother, Betty, Hong Kong is part of Britain - one of the pleasanter parts; it is also cozy, monotonous, profitable, and homely. It is big breakfasts and high tea and bad weather, the race meetings at Happy Valley, the roast beef at Fatty's Chophouse and, for Bunt, the "blue hotels" of Kowloon Tong, where he eats his packed lunches and sometimes rents a room by the hour with a girl. Now, ninety-nine years of colonial rule is about to end, and the British government is about to hand over Hong Kong to China. Betty and Bunt can see China from their parlor, but they have never been there. They detest Chinese food. "The Chinese take-away," as they call the hand-over, does not particularly concern them. When Bunt first meets Mr. Hung, who is a well-spoken gentleman from the Chinese mainland, he pays him little heed. And when Mr. Hung offers the Mullards a handsome sum for their family business - a fifty-year-old textile factory, Imperial Stitching, that was
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997.