Golden Inches

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1905 Grace Service and her YMCA missionary husband Bob set sail from California on the Mongolia bound for Shanghai. In this simple, unpretentious memoir, depicting the sights, sounds and landscapes of a bygone China, she records their trip up the Yangtze on houseboat, th e n by pole-mounted sedan chair to China's far western region. Her infant daughter's death made the journey a tragic one, but over the next 30 years in China, the Services raised three sons and had adventures criss-crossing the country. The author's brief firsthand impressions of the anti-Manchurian revolution of 1911, the Japanese invasion in the 1930s and other political events are amplified by her son John in footnotes. Atmospheric snapshots are interwoven with the text. In 1934-1935, Bob lost his YMCA job and the family's savings vanished overnight in the Shanghai financial collapse. Broken in spirit, Bob fell ill and died, and his wife eventually settled in California. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Service, a diplomat in China during the 1940s and a widely respected mentor to many scholars of China, has carefully reworked his mother's memoir about life in China into a book for general readership. Grace and her husband, Robert Roy Service, went to China in 1906 as ``student volunteers'' for the YMCA. Grace Service was an avid writer, who penned an estimated 600 letters a year and maintained a journal from which, 30 years later, she created a memoir. Although there are moments of adventure and excitement in this account, its strongest qualities reflect the decorous but frugal life of American Protestant missionaries in China. Readers will be struck by the emotional and material restraint of these Protestant missionaries, who in their lives exemplify the values that have had such a strong impact on our nation. Recommended for reflective readers.-- David D. Buck, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520074163
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1991
  • Series: Lilienthal Imprint Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.84 (d)

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