The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall


This was an ambitious first novel by Kate Furnivall, turning her mother’s experiences as a White Russian refugee in China into an amazing, page-turner of a book.

The story revolves around Lydia Ivanova, a teenage girl living in Junchow, China in 1928.  Her father has presumably been killed during the Russian revolution and her mother is struggling to make a living giving piano concerts.

China is a land in turmoil.  Chiang Kai-shek and the Koumintang army are in a power struggle against the Communists, and somewhere in the middle are strong Chinese warlords, getting rich off of the opium trade.  It’s a dangerous place to be for young Lydia, and she soon finds herself in serious trouble.

I was impressed with the largess of the story Furnivall created.  As the story wound itself into the Chinese underworld, I found I could not put it down.  Her gift of detail and historical storytelling, found me appreciating this newcomer to my world of historical fiction.  Loved it!

4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2007
517 pages


About Suzanne

I'm a stay-at-home mom with three kids who loves to read.
This entry was posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s