Sunday, April 29, 2018

Remembering Shanghai by Isabel Sun Chao and Claire Chao Review

 Remembering Shanghai: A Memoir of Socialites, Scholars, and Scoundrels by Isabel Sun Chao and Claire Chao

A high position bestowed by China's empress dowager grants power and wealth to the Sun family. For Isabel, growing up in glamorous 1930s and '40s Shanghai, it is a life of utmost privilege. But while her scholar father and fashionable mother shelter her from civil war and Japanese occupation, they cannot shield the family forever.

When Mao comes to power, eighteen-year-old Isabel journeys to Hong Kong, not realizing that she will make it her home--and that she will never see her father again. Meanwhile, the family she has left behind struggles to survive, only to have their world shattered by the Cultural Revolution. Isabel returns to Shanghai fifty years later with her daughter, Claire, to confront their family's past--one they discover is filled with love and betrayal, kidnappers and concubines, glittering pleasure palaces and underworld crime bosses.

Lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched, Remembering Shanghai follows five generations from a hardscrabble village to vibrant Shanghai to the bright lights of Hong Kong. By turns harrowing and heartwarming, this vivid memoir explores identity, loss and the unpredictable nature of life against the epic backdrop of a nation and a people in turmoil.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review- Sadness, pain, turmoil, love, beauty and strength and that is just in the first few chapters.  The book gives the reader a power from truth and a story that will take them on a journey of struggle with light at the end.  You must be prepared to cry and feel deeply, but then have a few bits of laughter brought in between.  By the end of the book there is a connection and sense of closure. 

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