The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall

The

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

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About Suzanne

I'm a stay-at-home mom with three kids who loves to read.
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