It is set in Vietnam in the sixties and is about a Chinese man who has set up a school to teach English. It is so far, and I have read three quarters, a real story and full of references to Chinese culture and Saigon at the time. I found it in a list of historical fiction but the compiler had put it down as his second favourite, the first being The Red Tent which I had read and enjoyed. I just wanted a really good story having been disappointed with other recent choices.
I have finished it and it has been a terrific read. It has a really good and involved plot, history and human relationships with a proper ending set against Vietnam in the sixties but also describing so much of Chinese culture. Really recommend it. I bought it from Amazon (new) for £6.49 (normal price £7.99).