In a vivid past life in ancient China, Syn was drowned in a pig's basket for committing adultery. Now a soothsayer warns that she will never find happiness in love. When Syn journeys from Old Shanghai to the streets of modern Sydney and becomes entangled in a steamy and dangerous affair with Zhu, history threatens to repeat itself. Troubled by her past, a woman in the grip of passion, Syn is also full of hope for the future. Seductive and poignant, rich with Oriental tales and superstitions, Swallowing Clouds explores the limits of love and history.