The Song of the Jade Lily

The Song of the Jade Lily

A Novel

Book - 2019
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1939, Shanghai: 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. 2016: Alexandra returns to Australia from London 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. After Wilhelm dies, Alexandra flies to Shanghai, determined to trace her grandparents' past-- and the truth about her family and herself. -- adapted from jacket
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]
Edition: First U.S. Edition
ISBN: 9780062882011
Branch Call Number: F Man


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Mar 24, 2021

I found some of the violence disturbing but that may be just my own sensitivity.

Jun 24, 2020

As a lover of WWII history and fiction I liked this book primarily because of the fact that it calls attention to the history of Shanghai accepting Jews before and during the war without a visa. While much of the world was not granting entrance papers or turning away refugees who had reached their shores ( Cuba, the United States, and potentially Canada ), China was a place of refuge. ( check out the St. Louis - a ship with more than 900 Jewish refugees on board - called "The Voyage of the Damned". The ship reached Cuba and the American coast and was within two days of Halifax, but had to return to Europe and some of the Jews perished in concentration camps. ) There are also documentaries about the Shanghai Jewish Ghetto. I thought the story line of hidden history was poignant, but as a devote' of history, I would have preferred more facts and fewer sexual liaisons. If you are interested in China and refugees during WWII there is a terrific 2009 film, "John Rabe" about a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanjing massacre in 1937-38. If you enjoy historical fiction more than non-fiction, this book is a very readable introduction to a little mentioned facet of the holocaust. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Feb 20, 2020

Two stories in one that combine in the end. I enjoyed the story of Romy during the war times more so than Alexandra's. The author bounces you back and forth between the two which made me want to get back to Romy's story quickly. Manning also is heavy on her food descriptions which bogged me down some. Title is very descriptive to the story and has the reader almost guessing the end. A good leisurely read for relaxation.

Nov 24, 2019

A beautiful story of relationships, survival and family secrets during World War II. Detailed Descriptions of flowers and plant life, exotic foods and spices are a feast for the senses. 1940’s Shanghai is brought to life. A marvellous love story, family love, romantic love, the love of deep friendship and way of life. An excellent read.

Sep 01, 2019

Serious subject but told in a romantic and relational way. The time and place, past and present was well executed and provided not only the satisfaction of a good read but also interesting and precise history of a not-so-publicly disseminated period of Jewish flight to Shanghai. Manning added a sense of taste and smell to the actual locations. Her characters were well developed and overall left me with sense of increased knowledge as well as enjoyment.

Aug 28, 2019

After a long wait on the hold list at the public library this book did not disappoint at all. This heart wrenching story captures love in its rawest form in circumstances that most are lucky they have never experienced. I have read a lot from the World War II era and I was surprised by this novel from the start. I never knew about the Jewish migrations to Shanghai before the official declaration of war was declared. It is not just the main characters that will grab your attention but the secondary characters and the background ones as well. This is a must read even if you only read it once in your life. Warning though... have a box of kleenix near by; the story will move you to tears at times.

May 19, 2019

I liked this book far better than I expected to. I thought I was getting a review copy of a book that would be a romantic retelling of what life was like in Shanghai during World War II, instead I got a well-researched book on what life was like for not only Chinese during the Japanese occupation, but for European Jews who had emigrated there. The story is well-told, the characters are interesting, and the real history is fascinating. I appreciated the bibliography at the end of the book. It is also on Costco’s June list of books to read. (LibraryThing review copy)


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