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   A Cup of Light
 

A Cup of Light

Author: Mones, Nicole Set In . . .
 Asia, China, Beijing
Genre: Fiction
Time Frame: 2000s
Published: 2002
Description: Hailed as “luminous” by The New York Times Book Review, Nicole Mones' bestselling debut novel, Lost in Translation, dazzled critics with a sensuous tale of adventure and awakening set in modern China.

A Cup of Light returns to that rich, exotic landscape in an enthralling saga of precious works of art–and the human lives illuminated by them. Written with exquisite grace, A Cup of Light is an intoxicating blend of romance and intrigue, complete with a heroine whose voice is irresistible to the last page.

As an appraiser of fine Chinese porcelain, Lia Frank holds fragile beauty in her hands, examines priceless treasure with a magnifying lens. But when Lia looks in the mirror, she sees the flaws in herself, a woman wary of love, cut off from the world around her. Still, when she is sent to Beijing to authenticate a collection of rare pieces, Lia will find herself changing in surprising ways. . .coming alive in the shadow of an astounding mystery. . .drawn into an unfolding saga of artists and thieves, intrigue and longing.

Lia was told the collection was impressive–twenty spectacular pots. Instead, in a vast room in a gated home in Beijing, Lia finds herself surrounded by the impossible: forty crates and eight hundred works of astounding beauty, with pieces reaching back centuries and perhaps even into the royal residence of the Forbidden City. Now Lia must evaluate each fragile pot, pairing each brushstroke and each nearly invisible imperfection with the database in her mind. Her job is to answer questions that will reverberate through dozens of lives: Where did these works of art come from? Are they truly authentic? Or are they impossibly beautiful forgeries–part of the perilous underworld of Chinese art?

As Lia examines her treasure, a breathtaking mystery unravels around her. A smuggler will risk his life for a chance to spirit these imperial antiquities out of China. A dealer in Hong Kong awaits, while a buyer in America is driven by a longing no possession will ever fulfill. And with political intrigue intruding on her world of provenance and beauty, Lia is drawn into another, more personal drama–a love affair that could alter the course of her life...
  
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