The Russian Concubine
By Kate Furnivall
A sweeping novel set in war-torn China, with a star-crossed love story at its centre.
Junchow, China, 1928. Lydia Ivanova has a fierce spirit. Nothing can dim it, not even the foul waters of the Peiho River. Into the river's grime bodies are tossed - those of thieves and Communists alike. So every time Lydia steals from someone to feed herself and her mother, she takes her life into her own hands. Lydia's mother, Valentina, numbered among the Russian elite until the Bolsheviks rounded them up. They took her husband but she managed to buy back her child and bring her to China. But survival is hard.
Even though mother and daughter live in the Whites-only settlement, no walls can keep Lydia in. She escapes to meet Chang An Lo, who saves her life once and is bound to her for ever . But Chang has enemies who are hunting him down - Chiang Kai Shek's troops are headed towards Junchow to kill Reds like him. Their all-consuming love can only mean danger for them both, but they are powerless to end it ...
Kate Furnivall was born in Wales and studied English at London University. She worked in publishing and then moved to TV advertising, where she met her husband.
In 2000, Kate decided to write her mother's extraordinary story of growing up in Russia, China and India, and this became The Russian Concubine, which was a New York Times bestseller. All her books since then have had an exotic setting and Kate has travelled widely for her research. She now has two sons and lives with her husband in a cottage by the sea in Devon.
Visit Kate's website at www.katefurnivall.com
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- Publication date:
01 Nov 2007
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Wonderful . . . a gripping love story . . . A hugely ambitious and atmospheric epic novel — Kate Mosse, author of LABYRINTH
The Russian Concubine is a great story of love, loss and conflicting loyalties in a fascinatingly precarious moment of history. The wonderfully drawn and all-too-human characters struggle to survive in a world of danger and bewildering change, constantly — Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series
A pulse-racing romance . . . breathtakingly good' Marie Claire — ‘[an] achingly beautiful epic’ New Woman
Whether you like romance, history, action or adventure, this highly accomplished, sweeping epic is a perfect winter read . . . Escapism at its best, this novel brilliantly captures the sights, sounds and atmosphere of early twentieth-century Russia and C — ‘A rollicking good read, with a fast-moving plot and oodles of colourful characters and evocative locations. The best thing about it, however, is Lydia . . . a heroine that one hopes to meet for more adventures in the future’ Telegraph