Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Blog Book Tour | “The Half Wives” by Stacia Pelletier

Posted Friday, 5 May, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Half Wives” direct from the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was interested in reading this story:

I am consistently looking for original voices in fiction. Of finding story-tellers who tell dramatic stories of characters moving through a period of their life where the journey towards their destination is as realistically convicting as the hours spent understanding their character’s sociological portrait. This felt like a psychologically charged dramatic historical about grief, loss and the difficulties which arise from trying to find a measure of solace out of the unthinkable. However, more to the point, it was when the premise presented a curious antidote on the characters’ behalf: how the cross-section of lives to intersect in one singular location (at a graveyard, no less) where the worsted and hidden secrets of their lives would not only become revealled but in so doing, their fragile state of mind might be awakened to more than the grief stilling their soul from carrying forward with the living.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Half Wives” by Stacia PelletierThe Half Wives
by Stacia Pelletier
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Over the course of one momentous day, two women who have built their lives around the same man find themselves moving toward an inevitable reckoning.

Former Lutheran minister Henry Plageman is a master secret keeper and a man wracked by grief. He and his wife, Marilyn, tragically lost their young son, Jack, many years ago. But he now has another child—a daughter, eight-year-old Blue—with Lucy, the woman he fell in love with after his marriage collapsed.

The Half Wives follows these interconnected characters on May 22, 1897, the anniversary of Jack’s birth. Marilyn distracts herself with charity work at an orphanage. Henry needs to wrangle his way out of the police station, where he has spent the night for disorderly conduct. Lucy must rescue and rein in the intrepid Blue, who has fallen in a saltwater well. But before long, these four will all be drawn on this day to the same destination: to the city cemetery on the outskirts of San Francisco, to the grave that means so much to all of them. The collision of lives and secrets that follows will leave no one unaltered.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780547491165

Genres: Historical Fiction


Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

on 4th April, 2017

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 336

Published By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, (@HMHCo)
Available Formats: Hardback & E-Book

Converse via: #TheHalfWives + #HistFic or #HistoricalFiction

About Stacia Pelletier

Stacia Pelletier

Stacia Pelletier is the author of Accidents of Providence, which was short-listed for the Townsend Prize in Fiction, and the forthcoming The Half Wives. She earned graduate degrees in religion and historical theology from Emory University in Atlanta. A two-time fellow of the Hambidge Center, located in the mountains of North Georgia, she currently lives in Decatur, Georgia, and works at Emory University’s School of Medicine.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 5 May, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Book Tour | “The Dark Lady’s Mask” by Mary Sharratt

Posted Wednesday, 24 August, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Dark Lady’s Mask” direct from the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to read this novel about William Shakespeare:

Ahead of sharing my love of Shakespeare, I am celebrating the return of being able to read a novel of Mary Sharratt for review on Jorie Loves A Story! Whilst I was a 1st Year Book Blogger (observed my 3rd blog birthday earlier this month on the 6th of August), I had the pleasure of joy reading Illuminations: {A novel of Hildegard von Bingen} as my debut review for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in November, 2013! The novel introduced me to an enriched version of reading biographies – an introduction that would carry me forward into the wonderful world of what I refer to as ‘Biographical Historical Fiction’; a mainstay of my reading queues! As routed through this category of interest!

From that foundation, I started to seek out traditional biographies and memoirs, under the new vein of interest called ‘Creative Non-Fiction’ where the stories are threaded through an emotional contextual core of narrative. For you see, if I hadn’t first read Illuminations all the lovelies I’ve been discovering since might not have alighted in my hands to read. Mary Sharratt truly opened my mind and eyes to how a story could be told whilst peering back into the historical past through a living history of a person who once lived. Her style of the craft is quite acutely realistic for the time periods she’s exploring; she has a conviction of setting with a lifeblood of drawing characters out of the wells of history to give us a resounding portrait of ‘who once lived’ can live once again in our own imaginations.

You see, I fell in love with reading Shakespeare when I was fourteen; prior to that year, (as a freshman in high school) I knew of the Bard far more than I had read his works. I was smitten by the idea of what a Shakespearean play would contain but I had not started reading his works until it became required reading. Ironic, no? Of those readings (Romeo & Juliet & Julius Caesar), it was my readings of Caesar that staid with me the most! I liked the tenacity of the piece and the guttingly humanistic emotional tides ebbing in and out of the realisation of how the conspirators befell a leader. There was such a lot of dramatic eclipse in that back-story, I daresay, right then and there, I should have realised how much I would come to appreciate reading Historical Fiction! If only hindsight were available,..

I was gifted a portable collection of Shakespeare’s works for my four and twenty birthday, a fact that isn’t lost on me now that I’m in the latter years of my twentytens; of which selections of plausible readings are listed on my own Classics Club List where they lie in wait for me to soak inside their stories. It isn’t that I have balked at reading more Shakespeare, it’s the mere fact I simply haven’t felt in ‘the mood’ to re-enter his works. There are moments where I distinctively feel literature is based on our moods; this clearly is one of them! Another example would be my distance from the ghost stories of Heather Graham; for me, those require a certain atmosphere to enjoy (i.e. thunderstorms).

As so much has become disputed and/or proved in regards to Shakespeare’s legacy and identity, I felt it was proper time to delve into a portion of the history surrounding him I haven’t yet learnt of first-hand. This is where reading Biographical HistFic is especially fun for me! I get to tuck inside the research and the visionary plausibilities of where known fact and supposition reside to paint an image of ‘what could have been’ and very much could honestly be the living testament of a person who lived so very long ago!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Dark Lady’s Mask” by Mary SharrattThe Dark Lady's Mask
by Mary Sharratt
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Shakespeare in Love meets Shakespeare’s Sister in this novel of England’s first professional woman poet and her collaboration and love affair with William Shakespeare.

London, 1593. Aemilia Bassano Lanier is beautiful and accomplished, but her societal conformity ends there. She frequently cross-dresses to escape her loveless marriage and to gain freedoms only men enjoy, but a chance encounter with a ragged, little-known poet named Shakespeare changes everything.

Aemilia grabs at the chance to pursue her long-held dream of writing and the two outsiders strike up a literary bargain. They leave plague-ridden London for Italy, where they begin secretly writing comedies together and where Will falls in love with the beautiful country — and with Aemilia, his Dark Lady. Their Italian idyll, though, cannot last and their collaborative affair comes to a devastating end. Will gains fame and fortune for their plays back in London and years later publishes the sonnets mocking his former muse. Not one to stand by in humiliation, Aemilia takes up her own pen in her defense and in defense of all women.

The Dark Lady’s Mask gives voice to a real Renaissance woman in every sense of the word.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780544300767

Also by this author: Illuminations: {A novel of Hildegard von Bingen}

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

on 19th April, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 416

Published ByHoughton Mifflin Harcourt (@HMHCo)

Converse via: #TheDarkLadysMask, #Shakespeare + #HistFic
Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback & Ebook

Read about Aemilia Bassano Lanier via Poetry Foundation

Read Ms Sharratt’s blog post about The Dark Lady’s Mask via Feminism & Religion

About Mary Sharratt

Mary Sharratt

MARY SHARRATT is an American writer who has lived in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, for the past seven years. The author of the critically acclaimed novels Summit Avenue, The Real Minerva, and The Vanishing Point, Sharratt is also the co-editor of the subversive fiction anthology Bitch Lit, a celebration of female antiheroes: strong women who break all the rules.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 24 August, 2016 by jorielov in 16th Century, Aemilia Bassano Lanier, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Classical Literature, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, William Shakespeare

+Blog Book Tour+ Incendiary Girls by Kodi Scheer

Posted Thursday, 24 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 3 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Incendiary Girls by Kodi Scheer

Incendiary Girls by Kodi Scheer

Published By: Little A / New Harvest, 8 April, 2014
(in conjunction with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt & Amazon Publishing)
Official Author Websites: Twitter | Facebook | Site
Available Formats: Paperback & E-Book
Page Count: 208

Converse on Twitter: #IncendiaryGirls


Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Incendiary Girls” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Little A / New Harvest, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intrigued to Read:

I love researching reincarnation and I have a passion for metaphysical theories and phenom! I like the fact the writer is giving the reader a chance to transcend our own perceptional reality to drink through a portal of a reality veiled from our view! Sounds enriching and thought-provoking! These books are such a rare gift to come across! They exist in a literary realm all on their own! I would think they are almost inside “Magicial Realism”? Which is a genre I am focusing on throughout the year as I read through my Classics Club list!

{+ About the Book +}

Inspired by her studies and interest in science and medicine, Kodi Scheer’s début story collection, INCENDIARY GIRLS explores the ineffable power of healing, where the human body becomes strange and unfamiliar terrain, a medium for transformation. Across the eleven stories, Scheer’s characters grapple with life’s medical maladies, often with a twist of the surreal, and emotions of the everyday – love and loss, confusion, and insecurity.

In the opening story, Fundamental Laws of Nature, a mother (recently diagnosed with breast cancer) is convinced her daughter’s horse is her own mother re-incarnated. With each gallop and jump, her mother’s admonitions are expressed, and she is left to confront her own legacy and mortality. The story is full of heartache and beauty, those tender moments of family that are so affecting one can’t help but see the departed in those around them.

With each step, Scheer interrogates our expectations of reality and pushes logic to its breaking point. In Transplant a heart-transplant recipient converts to Islam, and wonders if it is the new organ that has re-written her personality. In No Monsters Here, the wife of an active-duty soldier faces her own fears when she finds her husband’s ear in the hamper. There is dark humour and vivid imagination at play, but also empathy and sadness.

It’s here too, where international political events – the Iraq war, the Armenian Genocide – are absorbed into Scheer’s surreal landscape. In the title story a mischievous angel chronicles the remarkable like of a girl just beyond death’s reach. From her complicated birth, to fleeting the Armenian Genocide, to surviving the Spanish Flu on a boat bound for America, the angel watches over the girl as she defies the life that was intended for her. In the haunting fabulist tale, When a Camel Breaks Your Heart, a young woman’s would-be fiancé, Mahir, transforms – quite literarily – into a camel. Mahir, once the object of her affection and muse for her art, now embodies the vast differences between their backgrounds as a white American woman and first generation American Muslim, and she is left to figure out how to feed, care, and love someone so different from her.

In INCENDIARY GIRLS, Kodi Scheer weaves together the mundane and the magical to contemplate  the fragility of relationships and our own humanity. With a dose of wry humour and a twist of the absurd, Scheer gets to the heart of the human struggle in these incisive and effecting stories.

Kodi Scheer

{+ About the Author +}

Kodi Scheer teaches writing at the University of Michigan. For her work as writer-in-residence at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, she was awarded the Dzanc Prize for Excellence in Literary Fiction and Community Service. Her stories have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Iowa Review, and other publications.

UPCOMING APPEARANCES:

Sunday: 27 April @ 7pm KGB Bar Sunday Literary Series 85 E 4th Street New York, NY

Wednesday: 21 May@ 7pm Book Celler Reading & Signing 4736-38 N Lincoln, Ave Chicago, IL


A Brief Note about the Cover:

I was expecting the story involving the reincarnated Mum as a horse to be a white stallion and was most gobsmacked to learn that it was indeed a black Thoroughbred instead? The off-set colours on the cover-art work well together as it eludes to a stark contrast of themes against the backdrop of humanity on the verge of being relayed through Scheer’s arc of story-telling in short installments of narrative. Yet, despite the colour treatment, I am a bit puzzled by the attempt to draw the reader to alight on the crisp alertness of the horse, if the horse itself is not a representation of a character or element of a story contained within the book itself!? Such a beautiful creature to behold when you first pick up the featherweight collection of stories. All equestrians such as I will be left in fond repose!

My Review of Incendiary Girls:

I honestly had difficulty gaining a lead-in to the stories contained in the book because each time I attempted to settle into the rhythm and pace of one of the stories, I felt myself confronted with either a disturbing image or a diversion of where I had thought the short story was going to take me. The one that sort of left a bad aftertaste in my mind was the very brief Miss Universe, which I suppose at its core was trying to empathsis the difference in layers of the human psyche and how far we are willing to take our path towards glory and fame. However, it’s the way in which the author choose to illuminate and illustrate this particular revelation that simply did not float my boat.

The story with the most promise but failed to keep me steady in its grip was the very first one Fundamental Laws of Nature as I could very well see the paradigm shift inside the mother’s heart betwixt by the complexities of what happens towards the end of your life or rather, at the end of a loved one’s life who has transcended this existence and gone into the next chapter wherever that may lie. Yet, I felt disconnected after reading the first page and a half, as though I had misplaced a step in the pacing of its telling. I skipped to the last page and found the mother had recaptured a bit of harmony whilst living through a difficult period of her own life without the grace and nuturement of her mother now passed.

There are elements of what I appreciate in story form shaping into the collection but for me, I found the stories sharpened a bit too keenly and too raw for me to go into the emotional state a reader needs to walk a line to fully capture the message the writer is etching into their words and context of story. The suspension of reality and the essence of where reality merges with the fantastical were two transitions I could accept and wished I could have settled into the heart of what Scheer left behind.


Virtual Road Map of “Incendiary Girls” Blog Tour:

Incendiary Girls
by Kodi Scheer
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Literary Fiction


Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

on 8th April, 2014

Pages: 208

TLC Book Tours | Tour HostCheck out my upcoming bookish events to see what I will be hosting next!

{SOURCES: Incendiary Girls Book Cover, Author Photograph, and TLC Tour Host badge provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Book Synopsis / About the Book selection, Author Biography, and Tour Dates provided by Little A / New Harvest press release which was enclosed with the book and therefore used with permission.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Thursday, 24 April, 2014 by jorielov in Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Short Stories or Essays, TLC Book Tours

+Blog Book Tour+ Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones | Stepping back in time & visiting the Chinese #JazzAge!

Posted Wednesday, 23 April, 2014 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones

Night in Shanghai Tour via HFVBT

Published By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, (@HMHCo4 March, 2014
Official Author Websites: Nicole Mones website
Available Formats: Hardback, Audiobook, & E-Book
Page Count: 288

Converse on Twitter:
#NightInShanghaiTour & #NightInShanghai OR #NicoleMones

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Night in Shanghai” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I’ve been swept into the Jazz Age since January of 2013 when I first read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. Having read the biographical fiction of Zelda, I started to understand the undercurrent of the era. There was a lot about that time in our history and in Europe’s history that I was not clued in on. Bits and pieces which surprised me, especially about the salons for writers & creatives, which apparently were not as free as they appeared to have been! I felt the hot scorn that Zelda felt and the inaccurate self-worth she struggled to regain control of whilst her husband took the spotlight even off of her own writings. Through that book, and the motion picture of “The Great Gatsby”, I became attached to the 1920s & 1930s even a bit more than I had been whilst I watched the BBC drama “The House of Elliott!” To the extent, that I sought out Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries which is a bang-on brilliant BBC/Aussie drama set in Melbourne around the same era of time!

I read the description of this novel, then moved over to the author’s website & played the book trailer. Somewhere between the description and the trailer I made my choice to read this novel! It’s sweeping in its depth and what I love uncovering through historical fiction are little nuggets of the unknown moments against the larger backdrop of historical events!!

Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones}: Book Synopsis :{

In 1936, classical pianist Thomas Greene is recruited to Shanghai to lead a jazz orchestra of fellow African-American expats. From being flat broke in segregated Baltimore to living in a mansion with servants of his own, he becomes the toast of a city obsessed with music, money, pleasure and power, even as it ignores the rising winds of war.

Song Yuhua is refined, educated, and bonded since age eighteen to Shanghai’s most powerful crime boss in payment for her father’s gambling debts. Outwardly submissive, she burns with rage and risks her life spying on her master for the Communist Party.

Only when Shanghai is shattered by the Japanese invasion do Song and Thomas find their way to each other. Though their union is forbidden, neither can back down from it in the turbulent years of occupation and resistance that follow. Torn between music and survival, freedom and commitment, love and world war, they are borne on an irresistible riff of melody and improvisation to Night in Shanghai’s final, impossible choice.

In this impressively researched novel, Nicole Mones not only tells the forgotten story of black musicians in the Chinese Jazz age, but also weaves in a stunning true tale of Holocaust heroism little-known in the West.

 

Nicole MonesAuthor Biography:

A newly launched textile business took Nicole Mones to China for the first time in 1977, after the end of the Cultural Revolution. As an individual she traded textiles with China for eighteen years before she turned to writing about that country. Her novels Night in Shanghai, The Last Chinese Chef, Lost in Translation and A Cup of Light are in print in more than twenty-two languages and have received multiple juried prizes, including the Kafka Prize (year’s best work of fiction by any American woman) and Kiriyama Prize (finalist; for the work of fiction which best enhances understanding of any Pacific Rim Culture).

Mones’ nonfiction writing on China has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Gourmet, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. She is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Chinese Jazz Singer Jasmine Chen

– “Give Me A Kiss” via Jasmine Chen

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A passion for Jazz: I came to appreciate jazz and the blues from a young age, as I grew up in a home full of classical music and a deep passion for the living arts. I was free to decide for myself where my inclinations would take me musically, or even if I wanted to simply appreciate listening to music verse learning how to play an instrument or develop my vocality of voice. As a child I could not grasp which instrument would whet long-term interest to learn, therefore I became an appreciator of music. Symphony and orchestrations were the main focus as I loved attending live events at performing art centers in my hometown. Jazz came into my life a bit of a whispering on the musical winds, as like its counter-companion of the blues, the original inertia of interest was sparked by the stories of the origins rather than of attending concerts.

I was always drawn into those elements of the historical past which brought forward the ruminations of music, to evoke out a harmony of song, ballard or chord which drove into the human emotional well of giving back a living moment through a musical presentation. I vividly remember walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans in the early 1990s, at a moment in my life where I could not enter the Jazz clubs but I could partake of their sounds emitting out onto the streets — giving everyone the freedom to listen as ears finely tuned to their music could always embrace the sounds! Another memory is hinged to the latter 1990s where I heard a vocal artist from Washington, DC create distinctive evocations with her voice. She sung Jazz in a way that felt like an experience rather than a performance! She was one artist I had hoped I could have travelled to see again live as I only had the one chance to be in an audience of her artistry. Thankfully, a short conversation afterwards has never left my memory.

Bluegrass by comparison is another thread of music I tend to gravitate towards for the same reasons I am attached to Billie Holiday, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, B.B. King, Dinah Washington, Lena Horne, and countless more artists as there is a strong desire to curate human emotion into sound; and as such turn the sound into a living testament of life through story, vocals, and instrumentation. My dream is to collect albums on vinyl record and listen to the greatest voices throughout history belting out one memorable performance after another whilst sipping fresh brewed tea.

My Review of Night in Shanghai:

May I simply say, that any publisher who wraps their hardback in the loveliest shade of lavender such as Night in Shanghai has already warmed me to the experience of what lies within its covers!  The cover-art is equally eye-catching as you want to know about the symbolism of the lanterns as much as your quite curious about where the stairs are leading you. Her inclusion of Chinese expressions, as well as their iconic alphabet lends the reader to emerge into the story as though part of our spirits are hinged directly to Shanghai during the setting of which is about to unfold before us. Little cues like these help us take a step out of where we are reading the book and directly connect into the reality of the story. The essence of jazz has to be in your veins to settle into the background of the story as I felt it heightens your ability to pick up on the subtleties and in evoking a strong thumb of presence on how Shanghai was changing in the face of war.

Night in Shanghai paints a light of appreciation how difficult it was for the musicians to make a living whilst finding their race to be in opposition of receiving a fair wage if they staid in America. Never one to understand the prejudicial limits placed on others, this is one thread of the story that I felt was given honour by presenting the facts which led to the choice of switching countries on behalf of the musicians who chose to live in Shanghai rather than attempting to nick out a living for half of what they were worth. The first half reads like a memoir of a bloke who is attempting to absolve his soul at the end of his life by representing his journey towards self-redemption and self-acceptance of his art. Yet, the story is actually on behalf of his lover re-telling the tale than the artist himself of whom we are given a front row and center look into the ambiance of his life as it started to root in Shanghai’s Jazz scene of the mid-1930s. A progression of musical revolution which had begun in the Roaring Twenties, as musical scouts were frequently travelling throughout America to recruit the men back to China.

The most compelling part for me is watching Thomas Greene sort out his bearings in a city as flavourful and colourful in all matters of decadence as Shanghai, whilst being greeted by the notions of how close on the edge of war he truly was by seeing shades of it bleed into his daily wanderings. A musician at heart and of soul, compelled to work tirelessly on his craft as he was not blessed with the ear yet the grace of reading the music by sheet; his was a journey towards achieving his dreams as much as arriving at a place of self-acceptance. His race was muted compared to others and in having his skin not representative of his origins gave him flexibility to perform but it confused him on how he choose to identify himself. I would think this would bear weight on a person’s mind as you are neither of one race or another, as you’re a hybrid of two. Add to the churning tides a high sense of political despondency and it is a miracle any of the American musicians could find their footing!

The intriguing bit for me was seeing how Shanghai echoed of Chicago in how the city was controlled by organised crime families, except they are known as triads instead. Clearly there is more to history than meets the eye, and like many cities of the age Shanghai was not immune to the darker shades of living. The entire underworld was fresh to the eyes of Thomas Greene who affirmed his surname by being ‘green’ in the ways of the world. The essence of neighbourhoods of distinctive origins from the boroughs of New York City and Chicago were also bloomed in full in Shanghai. Each district had its own rules and were segregated from each other.

I loved seeing how the fusion of the West and East in music organically started to percolate in the early 20th century, as one musician was influenced by another. The music became the lifeblood language which broke the barriers of race and ethnicity, and in many ways sharpened the ability to put a pulse on what was happening around the city. There was such a decorum of unease yet the blinded sort where everyone would refute the obvious and elect instead to carry-on as though nothing major was happening. Music became the one avenue of honest representation and in so doing, gave a generational lineage that is still thriving today. Music gives a voice to the emotions which are too hard to put into words alone.

Thomas and Song were intricately bonded to each other through a synchronicity of passion which became an electrified explosion of notes and chords arching out of his fingers as he played the piano the only tunes which could solidify their connection. In the music, they lived with a freedom neither of them had in life. The passion of two souls caught up in a world of war, desolation, and tragic pain. The title of the novel is a hidden symbolism of their love and of the hope they each had for what it signified as a whole.

Gratitude for authors like Mones:

Who take the extra leap of faith to chase after a story which has nestled into their conscience and find a way to draw the story out for the readers who are in full appreciation of their efforts! To give us a piece of known history during an era of a war and conflict that has been written about from various angles and uncover a breadth of enlightenment not yet realised to the Western world is extraordinary! How kind of her to pursue her intuition and nettle out the story of how lives were changed during one of the most brutally savage moments in history’s ink blotter! And, to give us all a pure sense of how ordinary men can be called to accomplish such wonderful acts of kindness in the shadows of intense personal danger.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Nicole Mones – Night in Shanghai via Connie Martinson

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comWatch the Night in Shanghai Book Trailer via NicoleMones.com

Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

{including the quotation by Langston Hughes!}

Night in Shanghai by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comPreviously, I hosted an Author Guest Post about the creation of “Night in Shanghai”!

Blog Book Tour Stop, courtesy of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Virtual Road Map of “Night in Shanghai” Blog Tour can be visited here:

Night in Shanghai Tour via HFVBT

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comCheck out

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva

to see what I will be hosting next for

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTand mark your calendars!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Shanghai Memories – Golden Songs from the 1930s & 1940s via BaBanChineseMusic

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comPlease take note of the Related Articles as they were hand selected due to being of cross-reference importance in relation to this book review. This applies to each post on my blog where you see Related Articles underneath the post. Be sure to take a moment to acknowledge the further readings which are offered.

{SOURCES: Night in Shanghai Book Cover, synopsis, tour badge, author photograph and HFVBT badge were provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and were used by permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. The book discussion video by Connie Martinson, Shanghai Memories music video as well as the excerpt by Houghton Miffton Harcourt via Scribd had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Buy links on Scribd excerpt are not affiliated with Jorie Loves A Story. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Shanghai Jazz – (shjazz.com)

Remaking all that Jazz from Shanghai’s Lost Era – (npr.org/blogs/codeswitch) There are videos and audio clips included in the article to give an introduction to the music which I found tranquil & lovely! I encourage everyone to click-over and discover the music!

The Shanghai Restoration Project – (shanghairestorationproject.com) I found this project through researching the Chinese Jazz era as this has a decidedly unique sound to the music.

Survivors of Chinese Jazz Age Play Anew – (npr.org/templates/story) More audio clips of music from the Chinese Jazz Age.

‘Night in Shanghai’ Dances on the Eve of Destruction – (npr.org) A beautiful Interview with Ms. Mones about the novel.

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Posted Wednesday, 23 April, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, African-American History, Aftermath of World War II, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, China, Chinese Literature, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Geographically Specific, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Jazz Musicians, Musical Fiction | Non-Fiction, Shanghai, the Roaring Twenties, The World Wars

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