The Russian Concubine
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 ...
A sweeping novel set in war-torn China, with a star-crossed love story at its centre.
'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 choosing whether to embrace the past or to escape it, caught between cultures' 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 China' Glamour '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 'A vivid story . . . the characters are brilliantly drawn' Sunday Express 'If books were food this would be a Mars bar' The Times 'Extraordinarily lush' Richard Russo, author of The Bridge of Sighs 'A splendid book . . . I adored it. A fabulous, very affecting love story . . . full of wonderful characters' Sarah Harrison 'Totally compelling . . . [and] so assured for a first novel' Boyd Hilton 'Atmospheric and gripping' Sainsbury's Magazine 'A great read' Helen Dunning 'Wonderful' Big Issue 'Great fun . . . [An] epic romantic adventure on a grand scale . . . the characters are brilliantly drawn' International Express
Kate Furnivall lives in Devon and was born in Wales. This is her first novel. The Russian Concubine is based on her mother's life.