Lindo was just a little girl when, at the age of two, she was betrothed to Tyan-yu, the one-year-old son of a local man called Huang Taitai. As was customary at that time in China, children were pledged to each other many years before they were formally married. The betrothal is arranged accord to long-standing tradition, by a matchmaker who visits Lindo's family home. From that day on, Lindo is regarded as Huang Taitai's daughter; she is now a part of his household even though it will be a long time before she formally marries his son.
Lindo's less than thrilled at the prospect of marrying Tyan-yu. Her intended turns out to be a spoiled brat who always has to get his own way. Worse still, after going to live with her future in-laws, Lindo is treated like a domestic servant, expected to perform backbreaking, menial chores for several hours each day. However, such an arrangement, no matter how unjust it may seem, was quite common in China in those days. Women like Lindo had no independence, and were expected to remain at home as wives and mothers.