WAITING is the stor of Lin Kong, a doctor in the Chinese army, trapped in an arranged, loveless marriage to Shuyu who lives in a small village, a day's travel away from the city where he is stationed.
Lin wants Shuyu to agree to a divorce so that he may marry Manna Wu, a nurse whom he met in the hospital where he works.
Every summer, Lin travels back to his village where Shuyu lives with their daughter, to appear with her before a magistrate to obtain the divorce.
And every summer, for seventeen years, Shuyu, although agreeing not to contest the divorce, goes back on her word, leaving Lin unable to marry Manna Wu, or even have intimate relations with her. After each hearing, Lin is subjected to the derisive taunts of the villagers; Men are all alike, beasts", and "Doctors are butchers".
Finally, after 18 years, Lin is granted a legal divorce.
Meanwhile, the situation with Manna Wu has changed, and the way the story plays out is not the "happily ever after" result the reader expects.
This report prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson