KENTUCKY AZALEAS evokes childhood folklore ‘If I dig through the earth, will I pop out in China?’
Roosevelt ‘Rosy’ Sullivan is a twelve-year-old daydreamer from southeastern Kentucky. Desperate to fulfill a family legacy, the boy tunnels his way through the earth, via an abandoned coal mine. Finding himself in a strange land, his courage and non-reliance on others is tested against an unfamiliar culture and language, bull-fighting and bug-gobbling. Finally he must make a decision between the easy choice and the right choice, risking his life for people he’d only just met.
Li Mei, a young Chinese girl from a small, remote mountain village is eleven going on fifty. Feeling abandoned and mourning the loss of her mother, a reoccurring dream and its azaleas lead her to an escape, in an attempt to rediscover forgotten joy. Through unusual circumstances, Li May passes through the earth and falls into Rosy’s world. Facing her own challenges, both real and imagined, she rediscovers feelings that had fallen dormant and the importance of friendship and letting go.
Over a twenty-four hour period, their journeys are intertwined, yet never directly encountering one another, they experiences the others live’s through the families and homes they left behind.