About the book (from Wikipedia):
A Leaf in the Storm, a Novel of War-Swept China is a novel written in English by Lin Yutang, published in 1941 by John Day Company. Set in Beiping (Beijing) when it was controlled by the Japanese, the novel describes the years of the Second Sino-Japanese War before the American entrance in 1941. It is a sequel to Lin’s Moment in Peking.
The scene opens in Peking (Beiping) in 1937, on the eve of the war with Japan, when there was fierce debate over China’s best strategy. Yao Poya, a wealthy but patriotic businessman, and Lao Peng, who is a Chan Buddhist but angry and actively supporting the guerrilla resistance, are sharing a dinner and chouyin “drinking in sorrow.” They mourn his retreats and military blunders, but Chiang Kai-shek is their hero. They resign themselves to his strategy of wearing down the Japanese Army and forcing them to brutalize and alienate the Chinese people.
In spite of the fact that he is married, Poya is smitten with Malin, a young lady of shadowy background who has been forced to leave Shanghai when she was suspected of being a Japanese collaborator. Lao Peng uses his guerrilla connections to convey her out of Beiping. They watch a political training class for boy and girl students who were “starting life anew as if human civilization had not existed before – except for their flashlights and fountain pens… It was freedom of the human spirit they were seeking, and they found it.” Their instructor, Comrade Peng, works with the Communist Eighth Route Army. Malin and Lao Peng proceed to Wuhan, where the wartime government has set up a temporary capital, and witness Japanese atrocities and heroic Chinese resistance.
About Lin Yutang (from Wikipedia):
Lin Yutang (Chinese: 林語堂 ; October 10, 1895 – March 26, 1976) was a Chinese inventor, linguist, novelist, philosopher, and translator. His informal but polished style in both Chinese and English made him one of the most influential writers of his generation, and his compilations and translations of classic Chinese texts into English were bestsellers in the West.