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A Winter In China
by Douglas Galbraith (Goodreads Author)
Just down from Cambridge in the summer of 1937, Sally Marsden contemplates her future without enthusiasm. So many have assumed she will marry Hugh Jerrold it is, practically, an engagement. When Hugh returns from his diplomatic posting to China they will be married. But before submitting to the strictures of upper-middle-class life, Sally embarks on one last adventure - ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 2nd 2006 by Vintage
(first published February 22nd 2005)
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I cannot say just how historically accurate this is, so I won’t try, but for pure entertainment, it’s fab. Moving, gripping and emotive, a little piece of history that most have forgotten, or never knew about, is brought vividly to life between these pages. I don’t know if the author had a personal reason for the setting, but the descriptions are astonishingly clear and realistic – a lot of research went into this. It moved me to look up the Sino-Japanese war and find out more about this horror. ...more
As someone who currently resides in Shanghai, I wanted to learn more about WWII history in China. The crimes of Nanjing are recorded in other books I've read, and this one is as raw as the China winter winds. It's certainly not for the faint-hearted, though, as some of the scenes are told in terrifying and gut-wrenching detail. But, the entire real history is shocking and horrifying, and Galbraith pulls no punches were the war and sacking of Nanjing are concerned. The ending, perhaps, was ...more
I enjoyed the setting of this book more than the characters. It was very predictable and I was annoyed with the love triangle that seemed to be inflicted on the story line in order to give it some plot. The author has a skill with describing the history around the characters, I think I would have been happier reading this if it was a nonfiction story and he could delve into the characters' lives a bit more.
Overall I enjoyed this book. I liked the beginning much more than the end. He changed his writing style mid-book, which I found a bit confusing. It's a good read for the beach or an airplane. I did like the historical accounts about what happened in China when the Japanese invaded, I found that really interesting and well written.
I thought about a 3 but then I realised that it had bored me quite often. The setting was interesting but the characters a bit stilted and the love triangle not central to the theme. Kept thinking why bother but I finished it and it was well written and its context probably well researched.