Along the River is really the story of Mei Lan, a privileged chinese girl in the Song dynasty. There is a sweet friendship between her brother Gege, and the servant boy- Ah Li who is an amazing artist with lots to teach Gege, and Mei Lan. CC is a young woman and the conduit to our story. When she slips and falls, she wakes up drawn to a painting from ages ago, and with strange dreams. Through hypnosis, she relates to her doctor her memories, which is the life of Mei Lan and her adventures. A sweet love story develops with Mei Lan and Ah Li, but it seems that fate is against them. I don't understand fully why the subtitle- a chinese cinderella novel- is included unless there is a different fairy tale for chinese. It seems that it is more of a historical fiction, and I reviewed and rated it that way.