Alison is a control freak. There's nothing she enjoys more than swanning around her palatial home giving orders to her wealthy but masochistic husband and delighting in his humiliation. Her daily routine consists of shopping, dressing up and pursuing dark pleasures, along with her best friend, Belinda; that is until they are kidnapped and held to ransom.
In the ensuing weeks both women are required to come to terms with their most secret selves. Stripped of their privileges and deprived of the luxury they are used to, they deal with their captivity in surprising and creative ways. For Alison, it is the catalyst to a whole new way of life.
At 28, Suzie Carlton is at the height of her journalistic career, working as a publishing editor. Discovering that her sexual self is essentially submissive, even a little masochistic, she embarks on a relationship which takes her to previously unknown heights of erotic pleasure.
This comprehensive but concise narrative of China since the eighteenth century builds its story around the delicate relationship between central government and local communities. Rejects the traditional view of China as a wholly harmonious society based on principles of stability - the Unwobbling Pivot of Ezra Pound's translation of the Chinese classic Zhongyong Provides an original interpretation, arguing that developments can be explained through an understanding of China's surprising swings between centralization and decentralization, between local initiative and central authoritarianism Serves as an introduction to the subject, while readers with a background in Chinese history will find the book offers a personal perspective and addresses long-standing interpretive issues Supported by a variety of timelines, maps, illustrations, and extensive notes for further reading Places China's history within the context of global change