Hello everyone! We hope you’re not suffering from jetlag, because we’re only half way through our Summer Passport tour and we’d like to welcome you to our next stop: China! This country definitely has something for everyone: whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, a shopper, whatever you are China will ignite your senses.
Our guide today is Duncan Jepson, author of All the Flowers in Shanghai. In his book, Jepson takes us back to 1930s Shanghai, a time and a place where women are expected to uphold the family honour, marry who their parents have chosen for them and provide a male heir. Feng feels bitter resentment towards her family for being forced to marry the man of their choice. This resentment boils into a plot of terrible revenge. As the years pass Feng realizes the sacrifices and terrible choices that she has made to maintain her place in her family and within society – especially as violent tides of revolution engulfs her country.
Daniel Kalla will be our second guide as he continues our Chinese journey through the 1930s and 1940s with his novel, The Far Side of the Sky. Claimed to be loosely based on his grandfather, Kalla explores the fate of a man, Dr. Franz Adler, an Austrian Jew forced to leave his country and flee to China with his daughter to escape Hitler’s “Final Solution.” In the Shanghai refugee hospital Franz meets Soon Yi “Sunny” Mah, a Eurasian nurse who knows all about racism and discrimination from the Japanese. The chemistry between them is intense and immediate, that is until a Japanese soldier tries to rape her and murders her father. With Japan militarily aligned with Germany, danger escalates in Shanghai and Franz struggles to keep the refugee hospital open, and his family safe.
China is a vibrant country just dripping with history and culture. Start planning your Chinese reading vacation by clicking here to enter to win copies of these books!