In the Lap of the Gods

A massive dam rises, a million lives are thrown in turmoil...and a widower saves an abandoned baby girl from the Yangtze.

In the Lap of the Gods is a novel set in China that resonates with the truth of our times. The world's largest dam rises up, leaving the poor without recourse as entire cities and villages go under water. The past is erased in the name of progress. Liu has lost all that is dear to him; his wife and unborn child have died, and his old town was flooded by the Three Gorges dam. In battling their own demons, Liu and Fang encounter the underbelly of China's rampant growth. This is a story of defiance, weaving together a poor man's struggle to survive in the modern world and a rich man's attempt to reclaim the past.


Check out the trailer for In The Lap of the Gods


“An important book, a moving farewell to the old, more humane way of life as China and all the world become technologized and globalized.”
Maxine Hong Kingston, author of Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, The Woman Warrior; National Book Foundation 2008 Medalist for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.


"The effects of modernization and the battle between man and nature are the heavy themes Lovett tackles in this powerful first novel set in modern-day China. A moving, compelling read."
—Booklist *starred review*


"Lovett's complex tale of displacement and hardship, contrasting modern China with its past, highlights the human spirit's capacity for renewal."
—Publishers Weekly


"A compelling, sometimes damning portrait of the [Three Gorges Dam] project. Details of Chinese life shine through… An affecting story of massive change, told in small moments.”
—Barnes & Noble Review


In the Lap of The Gods is an elegy to the landscape and geography of a region with great rivers. It provides a lyrical ending to those villages Liu scavenges, villages buried in the swollen water of the rivers, by nature and by human planning."
—International Examiner


"Debut novelist Lovett focuses on the lives of the displaced as they strive against the elements...Most of the time readers' hearts are fastened on the widower Liu, 'a young man drowning in an old man's sorrows.'"
— Stanford Magazine


“The spectacle of deserted villages far as the eye can see receding underneath the unleashed, raging currents of the Yangtze is the world that Li Miao describes with rich detail and subtle poignancy.”
—Genny Lim, author, playwright (PBS-aired “Paper Angels”)


In the Lap of the Gods gives us an insight into one of the most transformative events of our time.”
—Harriet Rohmer, author, Heroes of the Environment