The Sky is Falling

Before she was abducted, Hu Lixia had never been alone in a room with a man who wasn't a relative. The plum-cheeked teenager had never had a boyfriend or even a secret crush. Every day, after she finished work at an ice-cream factory in central Hunan province, she would rush home to help cook dinner. She was, as her mother puts it, "a good country girl." But one evening in November 1998, Hu didn't return to her tiny village in remote Xupu county. Her parents, sugarcane farmers with only four years of schooling between them, were frantic. They contacted the local...

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