The Distant Land of My Father
For Anna, the narrator of Bo Caldwell's richly lyrical and vivid first novel, growing up in the magical world of Shanghai in the 1930s and 1940s creates a special bond between her and her father. He is the son of missionaries, a smuggler, and a millionaire who leads a charmed but secretive life. When the family flees to Los Angeles in the face of the Japanese occupation, h...more
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Its one of the BEST BEST Historical fiction books 'ever'!!!!!!!!!!!!! It won 'book-of-the-year' in Los Angeles and San Jose -was an international best seller. --
I HIGHLY recommend it! Its still one of my favorite books of all times.
Read about Shanghai in ways you almost never find in other books!
The author-Bo Caldwell -- got her inspiration from this story from her 'grandfather' --(not her father). She lives here in the Bay Area. The most ...more
After a journey of nearly a month by freighter and delivered from a terrific storm enroute, Mrs Anna L. Dennis and Alma Bertschin reached ...more
Feeding a fascination of Shanghai, my friend Elyse recommended this book. Though coming in at just under 400 pages, it took me a few days to finish the book because I savored every word of this beautifully crafted novel. If I could time travel, I would visit Shanghai before the Japanese invaded. This b ...more
The times are about to catch up with with the family as powerful historical and politi ...more
The writer's father had been born and grew up in China and loved that country so deeply that he could not tear himself away from it. He was a man who could not resist a deal whatever the moral implications and thus made a fortune for himself. But his inability to read the seriousness of life in China through the Japanese invasion and then later when the communists came to power left him serving tim ...more
It is clear from the beginning that Anna, the narrator, is not really the central character. Neither is the mother she admires or father she loves. The true heroine is Shanghai. This novel is a romance. The city is ...more
The author wrote an article a few years back called the Beach House about her happy experiences growing up in Southern California, spending idyllic summers at the family cottage in Hermosa Beach. Since she also happens to be from the Pasadena area, I was therefore delighted when I stumbled upon her first book in our Library's stacks. (you just never know what you may find there...I highly suggest browsing the shelves!)
The alluring scene is 1930's Shan ...more
My father was a millionaire in Shanghai in the 1930s. Polo ponies, a Sikh chauffeur, a villa on eight acres in Hungjao, in the western part of the city. Nights out with my mother at the Cercle Sportif Francais, the Venus Cafe, the Cathay Hotel, the Del Monte - these were the details of his life. He was also an insurance salesman and a smuggler, an importer-exporter and a prisoner, a borrower and a s ...more
“We ate lunch at Clifton’s Cafeteria, or went to Philippe’s for French dips and lemonade [c. 1937].”—page 107 (Philippe’s is still there [c. 2012] with the best French dip sandwiches in L.A.)
With an exceptional sense of time and place, ‘The Distant Land of My Father,’ by Bo Caldwell, is at times an enchanting, albeit melancholy, read. This fictional memoir is set in Shanghai and Los Angeles/Pasadena in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
Recommendation: Read also, ‘Shangha ...more
To be honest, I thought that this book was a little boring. The problem is that I like more factual information, ...more