Thursday, May 5, 2011

Shanghai Shadows by Lois Ruby

Shanghai Shadows by Lois Ruby
282 pages

Lois Ruby's mother was a translator who worked with the American embassy for the Jewish refugees coming into the country in the 1940's to escape Hitler. She met a Polish man who had escaped into Shanghai, who needed an American wife to get into the states. Her mother married that man, and divorced weeks later. Although contact with that man was not kept up, it fueled her curiosity about the stateless refugees living in Japanese occupied China. When she visited the park built in memory of these people, Shanghai Shadows begin to form. This book was interesting, rich with details about the food, architecture, and customs. Beautifully written.

(from jacket cover)
After the Nazis move into Austria, Ilse's family makes plans to escape. But the only place they're able to go is Japanese-occupied China. Life in Shanghai is far harsher than Ilse ever expected. While she and her brother join the resistance, their mother keeps connections to the past, and their father holds tight to the violin that had been his livelihood for so long. But life grows harder and harder as they are forced to relocate to Shanghai's ghetto. Yet they  always manage to take solace in one another-that is, until a mother's secret threatens to tear them all apart.

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