- € 4,49
*** THE Sunday Times TOP TEN BESTSELLING AUTHOR ***
'Wonderful . . . hugely ambitious and atmospheric' Kate Mosse
Discover a brilliant story of love, danger, courage and betrayal, from the internationally bestselling author of The Betrayal.
Junchow, China, 1928.
Lydia Ivanova was among the Russian elite until the Bolsheviks revolutions forced her to flee to China with her mother. But survival is hard.
Lydia has a fierce spirit. Nothing can dim it, not even the foul waters of the Peiho River. Into the river's grime bodies are tossed - those of thieves and Communists alike. A reminder that every time Lydia steals from someone to feed herself and her mother, she takes her life into her own hands.
Even though mother and daughter live in the Whites-only settlement, no walls can keep Lydia in as she escapes to meet her lover, Chang An Lo. But Chang has enemies who are hunting him down, and their all-consuming love can only mean danger for them both . . .
The Concubine's Secret and The Jewel of St Petersburg are also available to buy NOW in paperback and ebook.
Further praise for Kate Furnivall:
'Superb storytelling' Dinah Jefferies
'A thrilling plot ... Fast-paced with a sinister edge' Times
'A thrilling, compelling read. Wonderful!' Lesley Pearse
'Gripping . . . poignant, beautifully written ...will capture the reader to the last' Sun
'Truly captivating' Elle
'Perfect escapist reading' Marie Claire
'An achingly beautiful epic' New Woman
'A rollicking good read' Daily Telegraph
The experiences of the author's mother inspired this debut novel, a somewhat improbable tale of star-crossed love in 1928 China. Valentina Ivanova and her 16-year-old daughter, Lydia, White Russian refugees, live in grinding poverty in the International Settlement of Junchow, subsisting off whatever presents Valentina can charm from gentlemen admirers and the profits Lydia makes from pawning stolen goods. When Lydia inadvertently attracts the unwelcome attentions of a criminal gang, the Black Snakes, she finds a rescuer in Chang An Lo, an English-speaking Communist and kung fu master. Danger is never far as the two fall in love. Lydia's travails are mirrored by those of Theo Willoughby, the British headmaster of her school. Theo's struggle to preserve his school and his happy life with his Chinese mistress, Li Mei, drives him to collude with Li Mei's estranged father the leader of the Black Snakes to run opium into Junchow. Violence is more prevalent (and graphic) than sex, and the narrative has extended periods of inertia during which there is much action, but not of the plot-advancing sort. Despite these flaws, Furnivall vividly evokes Lydia's character and personal struggles against a backdrop of depravity and corruption.