August 19, 2019 by TinyNavajo
The Song of the Jade Lily: A Novel by Kirsty Manning
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊
*Published May 14, 2019*
I saw this book at Half Price Book and I started reading it and I was hooked form the start. I didn’t want to buy it just yet, so I borrowed it from my library! YAY for libraries!!!
1939Two young girls meet in Shanghai, also known as the “Paris of the East.” Beautiful local Li and Jewish refugee Romy form a fierce friendship, but the deepening shadows of World War II fall over the women as they slip between the city’s glamorous French Concession district and the teeming streets of the Shanghai Ghetto. Yet soon the realities of war prove to be too much for these close friends as they are torn apart.
2016: Fleeing London with a broken heart, Alexandra returns to Australia to be with her grandparents, Romy and Wilhelm. Her grandfather is dying, and over the coming weeks Romy and Wilhelm begin to reveal the family mysteries they have kept secret for more than half a century. As fragments of her mother’s history finally become clear, Alexandra struggles with what she learns while more is also revealed about her grandmother’s own past in Shanghai.
After Wilhelm dies, Alexandra flies to Shanghai, determined to trace her grandparents’ past. Peeling back the layers of their hidden lives, she is forced to question what she knows about her family–and herself.
I’m not a big fan of contemporary books. They have never really been my favourite way to escape the world, which is part of the reason why I read books. But there was a mystery in this book, and it took place outside of the United States which also piqued my interest.
I also enjoyed that it was historical fiction, and it showed a side of World War II that I didn’t realize before, that Shanghai took in Jewish refugees. That’s what I truly loved about this book and how it jumped between two different timelines that affected the same family. I truly loved Alexandra trying to figure out who she is and who her mother truly was and what that all means for her now and her grandparents who raised her.
Family influences who you are, whether you want it to or not. They are your blood and your examples of what to do and not to do. So, trying to figure out who you are can lead to some dark areas in time, especially if there was a war going on and you are a refugee.
Life can throw many things at you, and it can beat you down, but when you lean of your family and learn what it is you truly want to do in life, things will start to fall into place and possibly go smoother than you thought. What are things you know have been influenced by your family? Do you ever want to find out more? Comment below and let me know!