SHANGHAI, 1910……..Ying-ti, 24, from a poor family, is married by a matchmaker to a rich, blind, demanding invalid. His family treats her with little respect and drives her to attempt suicide potential romantic affair with Ying-ti’s playboy brother-in-law is never fulfilled. After her husband and his dowager mother die. Ying-ti continues her lonely life with her teenage son, Yu-shi. They sink into an opium haze together. She marries Yu-shi to a sick, unattractive girl but gets jealous and picks her maid to bear his children. Ying-ti remembers her youth like a fantasy she somehow lost.