Becky Chan’s life gets off to a rocky start. She is born into a poor family, with a ne’er-do-well father. But by 1967, she is the reigning queen of the Hong Kong film industry, and her life is frequently confused by her public with the roles that she plays, including the Goddess of Mercy. In the city, Communist factions are setting bombs and kidnapping people. In mainland China, itself in the throes of the Cultural Revolution, rival factions of the Communist Party are terrorizing the nation. In the midst of this turmoil, Becky Chan disappears.
Told from the point of view of an aging Canadian expatriate residing in the colony, Becky Chan is an absorbing and intriguing story that is entirely set in the Hong Kong film world. Woven into Becky’s life story, itself the stuff of a Mandarin movie, are the plots of several of her 190 films.