"April Rhapsody" is a biographical sketch of the love story of renowned Chinese poet Xu Zhi Mo. The plot follows Xu in his quest for a soulmate, a quest that led him to relationships with three remarkable women. These three women each typified a part of the culture in China during the early 20th century, and together, they defined the emotional world of the young avant-garde poet.
Zhang You Yi was Xu's wife by arranged marriage. Only aged fifteen at her wedding, Zhang lived by the behavioral standards of traditional Chinese women. Her unquestioning submission and social limitations, however, added to the arranged nature of her marriage with Xu, caused Xu to divorce her while she was visiting him in Europe. Zhang never re-married, and she continued to serve Xu's parents and raise her two sons while remaining on friendly terms with Xu.
Lin Hiu Yin was the talented eldest daughter of Xu's colleague. Xu considered the musical, artistic, and poetic Lin to be his kindred spirit, and the two maintained close correspondence during their studying furloughs in England. When Xu divorced Zhang to marry Lin, however, the latter could not battle the social pressure in China and chose instead to marry historic architect Liang Si Cheng. The romance eventually died out between Lin and Xu, but her person continued to stand as a source of inspiration for the poet throughout his short life.
Lu Xiao Man was the most controversial among Xu's women. Although already married herself, she involved herself in an affair with Xu and later divorced her husband to marry Xu. The couple was sweet during their courtship and early marriage, but Lu's worldly childishness soon clashed with Xu's artistic lifestyle, and their marriage began to fall apart. The couple had no children and oftentimes stayed apart for months at a time. When Lu and Xu finally came near to reconciliation, Xu died of a plane crash on his way to Beijing, thus abruptly ending his illustrous literary career.
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