It’s The Red Chamber, out as an unabridged audiobook on CD from Books on Tape. The book is by Pauline A. Chen and read by Grayce Wey. Here’s what they have to say for themselves:
Dayiu has lived all her life in a modest home in the provinces. Her mother’s dying wish is that she be sent to live with her extended family in Beijing. Leaving her cloistered life in rural China, Daiyu is amazed to find herself a member of a family with close ties to the Imperial Palace and to the Emperor, living in opulent splendor amongst dozens of cousins, all of whom are tangled in discrete intrigues, scheming, and internecine maneuverings for influence and power both within and beyond the Palace walls. From the petty gossip of the servants quarters to the encroaching political turmoil that results in the overthrow of a dynasty and the ascent of a new Emperor, and casts the family from the heights of money and power to the most abject poverty, The Red Chamber is a sweeping portrait of three women whose lives are transformed by the power of friendship and the force of history, in a world where wealth and duty, love and passion, continually collide.
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