Sturdy if not too succulent slice of history well grounded in fact. Cornelia Spencer knows China, past and present, and this story of a China trader, the first to establish China trade in America, is good enough though out to pattern. A New Englander takes his bride to Macao -- and divides his time (and his passions) between Macao and Canton, where his mistress, Philippe a Portuguese girl, meets him. To hold his own against the stiff competition of English trade, Nathan starts trafficking in opium. He loses his own child, and Joan adopts Philippe's child, when the girl dies. More tragedy, as the boy grows to lawless manhood, as the opium trade crashes and Nathan faces prosecution. Story of pursuit of a goal in the face of great odds.