A sweeping novel set in war-torn 1928 China, with a star-crossed
love story at its center.
In a city full of thieves and Communists, danger and death,
spirited young Lydia Ivanova has lived a hard life. Always looking
over her shoulder, the sixteen-year-old must steal to feed herself
and her mother, Valentina, who numbered among the Russian elite
until Bolsheviks murdered most of them, including her husband. As
exiles, Lydia and Valentina have learned to survive in a foreign
Often, Lydia steals away to meet with the handsome young freedom
fighter Chang An Lo. But they face danger: Chiang Kai Shek's troops
are headed toward Junchow to kill Reds like Chang, who has in his
possession the jewels of a tsarina, meant as a gift for the
despot's wife. The young pair's all-consuming love can only bring
shame and peril upon them, from both sides. Those in power will do
anything to quell it. But Lydia and Chang are powerless to end it.
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