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Shanghai Love

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  63 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Shanghai Love is a gripping novel about the unlikely love story that develops between a Chinese herbalist and a Jewish refugee in Shanghai during World War II. Peilin is betrothed to Kwan Yao, the only son of a wealthy pearl farmer. However, months before their wedding, Yao is killed by the Japanese in the Nanjing Massacre. The Kwans insist on proceeding with the wedding a ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by She Writes Press (first published February 25th 2013)
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Aditi
Eric Michael Leventhal, a literary consultant and holistic educator on the island of Maui, Hawaii, has once quoted a remarkable line about the holistic approach of treatment:

“A healer's power stems not from any special ability, but from maintaining the courage and awareness to embody and express the universal healing power that every human being naturally possesses.”
And this defines the real definition of Chinese Herbal Healing Methods!

Layne Wong, an American author, has bring out the whole wid
...more
Linda Frank
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is a lovely story with some graceful writing, and the Chinese medicine details make it interesting, assuming, given Ms. Wong's background, that they're authentic.

Unfortunately, there's much in the novel that's historically unsound. Examples: One letter from Europe to Henri written in late 1938 or early 1939 mentions people who might be sent to Auschwitz. While such camps at Dachau and Buchenwald in Germany certainly existed before WWII, Auschwitz is in Poland and didn't open until after Ger
...more
Meghan Sullivan
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. Usually I am the type to not finish a book due to a dragged on story, but Shanghai Love wasn’t like this at all! I couldn't put it down! The storyline plus the twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat. Layne's writing really puts you in the characters shoes and makes you feel their emotions whether they are happy, sad, or scared. You will see the characters experience love, betrayal, tragedy and the honor of family. This story is outstanding and I would recomm ...more
Elizabeth (Stuffed Shelves)
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shanghai Love is a love story that takes place during World War II in China. There is a Jewish doctor refugee, Henri and a Chinese herbalist, Peilin. They come together through a series of tragic events.

The book opens on Peilin preparing for her wedding day in 1937, going through the ancient Chinese rituals that are expected for every bride to perform. She is marrying a man, who is no longer alive on this earth. He has died while fighting in the war. She is marrying him to show her devotion to
...more
Rachel
I was contacted by the author's publicist and asked if I wanted to review the book and receive a free copy. Apparently an intern had found my blog and liked it so much that she recommended me to her boss. The press kit that they sent looked interesting, so I said sure. A lot of times when I think romance, I immediately think "bodice rippers," like I used to read as a kid. The way the author mixed the detailed historical fiction with a touch of romance was different than I was expecting, but it w ...more
Vivian
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fr, romance-hist
4.5 stars

Pain, loss, resilience. These are constants within the story. The voice and tone reads very much like Isak Dinesen and reminds me Out of Africa with an intense sense of immersion with the character and lyrical quality to the descriptions.

Exquisite setting and background to the story of Henri and Peilin. It is a very dark place before they meet in Shanghai. Scenes of Nazi Germany and the Nanking Massacre are but a few of the tragedies visited upon the protagonists' lives.

There are many c
...more
Terri
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shanghai Love by Layne Wong is a love story that is as complex as it is simple. Peilin is preparing for her wedding day, going through the ancient Chinese rituals that are expected of a bride-to-be. However, Peilin's husband is not what you would expect. Fighting in the war between the Japanese, her husband is dead before their wedding day. Still, she married his ghost and commits herself as a daughter-in-law to her husband's family. When an herbalist uncle dies, it is Peilin's place to run his ...more
Trully Sunee
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
East meets West, as difficult times continue through the main characters lives. It makes it harder and harder and to believe Peilin will have have happiness or success in love. She just seems destined for failure.

The Good Luck Lady is my favorite character of the whole book. She reminds you of a wonderful, enlightened sage. She comes through with the wisdom that old and new times would call for. Times that could help Peilin to ask the important questions to make life more meaningful, real, and
...more
Junying
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
An engaging and informative read.

Before I read this book, I did not know that Jewish refugees were accepted in war-torn China during the WWII. The love story between the two protagonists is touching and well crafted. I very much enjoyed the way the story was told, two lonely people coming together, as two cultures collide on the poignant, historical backdrop. Layne Wong has a gift to engage the readers from the beginning and keeping their interest throughout.

I loved the fact that it was largely
...more
Laura McHale Holland
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shaghai Love, a novel by Layne Wong, pulled me in a couple months ago, and I couldn't wait to get back to reading it when I was interrupted. Wong's writing style is eloquent. And the story of two characters whose paths cross in Shanghai in the World War II era evolves gracefully. Peilin, a Chinese woman forced to marry her betrothed even though he died months before their wedding, is sent by her new family to Shanghai, where she makes use of herbal knowledge passed on to her by her granfather. T ...more
Katy Hill
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really, really liked this book. The style of writing really flowed and I found it to be very descriptive. There were some historical inaccuracies, however, it is historical fiction so I can't be too harsh on that (and the for the simple fact that I'm not a true historian of any type, just an enthusiast). I also enjoyed how she mixed German and Mandarin in with the English. I wish there were Chinese characters along side the Pinyin because I study Mandarin. This would make it easier to figure o ...more
Madge
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Having visited this area of Shanghai, I had no idea that Jews were welcomed without papers or visa's during Hitler's rein. I think this is a lovely story that captured me from page one. I loved the Chinese history and the love of a man and woman during turbulent times when even seeing someone of a different ethnicity/race would have provoked outrage. I love how the mix of eastern and western medicine played a role in this book. I recommend it as you can see at 5 stars. I found it well written an ...more
Mara
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
What an absolutely heartwarming and lovely story about a two people who unwittingly find each other during one of the most difficult times of history. This novel is a testament that it's people who fall in love-not their colour, or their gender, or their cultural references.

Wong writes very descriptively with spare prose (she may over use short sentences a bit, in fact). The scenes are vivid, and our imagination is engaged with ideas of Chinese culture, mysticism, and medicine. I highly recomme
...more
Cassandra.
A young "ghost bride" in China becomes involved with Henri, a young German doctor immigrate. He is Jewish & is fleeing Hitler's wrath. Interesting fact to note - China welcomed many ex-pats from many different countries. One of the few countries to open its borders to Jews.
Peilin has been trained by her uncle in the ancient practice of using herbs in healing. She was promised to marry when she was very young. Her fiancé is killed by the Japanese, but the marriage takes place. She is sent to
...more
Cindy
Oct 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought this was a beautiful and lovely story about a young couple who find true love under the most unusual circumstances. Set in Shanghai during World War II, it is a story of what happens when East meets West and how adversity can be conquered. There is a lot of incite into the Chinese culture and its healing herbs and traditions. The story flowed smoothly as the author, Layne Wong, leads the reader into feeling the young lover's pain and anguish as they try to make sense and accept the wor ...more
Mom2nine
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I'm giving this five stars because I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is a very gentle story about very serious subject matter. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, it follows people who lived and loved during desperate times. Insight into Shanghai welcoming Jewish people fleeing Nazi regime and also into Eastern medicine. Wong's writing flows easily and enjoyably. Received book through goodreads.com contest with expectation of an unbiased review.
Carole Knoles
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Reading Shanghai Love has inspired me to explore further the subjects of Chinese medicine, the refuge in Shanghai of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, and the cruel Japanese invasion of China. Interest in these themes kept me eagerly turning pages. In my opinion, Layne Wong has delivered an admirable first novel.
Liz Neale
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a love story between a Chinese herbalist and a Jewish refugee in
Shanghai during World War II. I enjoyed reading about Chinese herbs and what they
can cure. It is a good book to read at the beach or sitting by the fireplace on a
cold winter night....
Sampada
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judie
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
A good effort but historically incorrect as far the European history is concerned and that took away from the enjoyment of the story. The ending was too pat and I would have chosen differently. The information about Chinese herb medicine was interesting, if it is fact, but I had doubts due to the poor research done on the European side. Parts of this book were very good so I'll look for Ms Wong's next novel and will give it a try.
Kelly Kittel
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I did think this book needed a bit of editing, sorry to say, but the story was good all the same and have never read a book about the German Jews escaping to/settling in China during war so that was interesting. The herbal medicine stuff was fascinating.
Alison
Jan 21, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
kindle 333 (toreadsoon)
Marlen Bodden
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love historical fiction because it allows me to time travel, and Shanghai Love fit the bill! Thanks to Layne Wong, I went to China and met characters I never would otherwise have known.
Helen Haste
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
It got a bit slow and very predictable. If you want to read a slow romance it would suffice.
Roy Wano
rated it it was amazing
Sep 22, 2013
Renz
rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2015
Alex
rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2017
Lulu Bruns
rated it really liked it
May 14, 2014
Carol
rated it really liked it
Jul 16, 2014
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