WILLOW MOON is a historical adventure story set in China in 1872 that tells the moving story of British trader, Richard Covington, and Lihua, the Chinese girl he loved.
In Christie’s London auction rooms in 2012, a painting by Chinese Master Bingwen, called The Willow Moon, sells for a record price. As the delighted buyer, James Covington, leaves the auction he is confronted by a young Chinese woman. She produces an old sepia photograph showing The Willow Moon in the possession of a beautiful Chinese girl named Lihua and standing beside her in the photograph is an Englishman whom James instantly recognises as his ancestor Richard Covington. The exciting and deeply moving tale the girl then relates, handed down by each generation of her family, is the story of Tián Shuĩ, a small village in China. James learns that Richard Covington was a hero who saved the rural community from the terrorising bandit leader Meng and married Lihua, the daughter of the head man. Their wedding gift was the painting by Bingwen of the rare lunar eclipse called The Willow Moon. But the extraordinary story of the painting and its strange and wonderful journey to Christie’s one hundred and forty years later, brings James Covington more than the true history of a work of art.