this book was poignant and beautifully written. It brought tears to my eyes to see the purity of love between two people so young, yet so scarred by life already. AND...it was left WIDE OPEN for a sequel! I am waiting to see!
While the title is very misleading (the main character may be Russian, but at no time is she anyone's concubine), it's a very good story. Coming of age for a young woman in an international settlement, in the beginning of Communist China. So, it not only deals with her personal conflicts, but the social/political situation as well. It is well-balanced so that part isn't overwhelming to the main part of the story.
I am confused about the title of this book. This book is about 17 year old Lydia who falls in love with Chang. Lydia lives in a whites-only part of a Russian town. Chang is a Chinese communist that is wanted by the police. Chang gets severely injured, and Lydia nurses him back to health. They fall in love, however, they both know that they cannot be together without the danger of being killed. I thought the book was a little difficult to read. I thought that it kind of rambled on and on. If you like historical fiction with a little romance, then this book is for you.
The Russian Concubine is a moving tale of a young russian girl who meets a chinese boy and falls in love despite the objections and dangers involved with their relationship. This is an amazing tale of love, loss and poverty and will tug at your heartstrings, make you cringe with disgust, and keep you engaged from cover to cover.
It's been a long time since I've found a book that I couldn't put down. This one did it for me and is now near the top of my favorites list.
This is a good read in the Gabaldon tradition; well developed characters, believeable in their settings. I especially enjoyed the unusual time period and locale that is the setting for this novel--pre-Communist revolutionary China in 1928, against the background of expat White Russians who fled from the 1917 revolution in Russia and are now in the midst of the same fever in China.