The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel

The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel

3.4 9
by Maureen Lindley
     
 

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An electrifying epic, based on the incredible true story of a Chinese princess turned spy.

Peking, 1914. When the eight-year-old princess Eastern Jewel is caught spying on her father's liaison with a servant girl, she is banished from the palace, sent to live with a powerful family in Japan. Renamed Yoshiko Kawashima, she quickly falls

Overview

An electrifying epic, based on the incredible true story of a Chinese princess turned spy.

Peking, 1914. When the eight-year-old princess Eastern Jewel is caught spying on her father's liaison with a servant girl, she is banished from the palace, sent to live with a powerful family in Japan. Renamed Yoshiko Kawashima, she quickly falls in love with her adoptive country, where she earns a scandalous reputation, taking fencing lessons, smoking opium, and entertaining numerous lovers. Sent to Mongolia to become an obedient wife, Yoshiko mounts a daring escape and eventually finds her way back to Peking high society—this time with orders from the Japanese secret service.

Based on the true story of a rebellious woman who earned a controversial place in history, The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel is a vibrant reimagining of a thrilling life—a rich historical epic of palace intrigue, sexual manipulation, and international espionage.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An engrossing debut... This lush, challenging portrait of a woman who dared to make her own choices--bad though they were--in terrible, oppressive times also makes a steamy historical beach read.” —Publishers Weekly

“Intriguing... Elevates a fascinating bit player to the main stage by reimagining the twists and turns of her extraordinary life.” —Booklist

“Riveting--Maureen Lindley brings Eastern Jewel and her world vividly to life with a wealth of fascinating details in this captivating novel.” —Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans

“A breathtaking account of a ruthless and beautiful princess who betrays her heritage to spy for the Japanese.” —Adeline Yen Mah, bestselling author of Falling Leaves

“An exotic story of sexual promiscuity, opium and opulence… A promising work.” —Mail on Sunday (UK)

“Essential … The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel proves fact is stranger than fiction. It's a thrilling read.” —Harper's Bazaar (UK)

Publishers Weekly
Based on the life of a Qing dynasty princess, this engrossing debut gives the rebellious Eastern Jewel a sensuous, unsentimental voice that draws admiration despite remorseless selfishness. In 1914 Manchuria, the curious, headstrong eight-year-old is sent to live with her father's blood brother Kawashima, who adopts her and renames her Yoshiko. She settles into her new life as a second-tier family member, at odds with the stepmother she secretly longs to please. Precocious, rebellious and beautiful, Yoshiko loses her virginity to her adopted grandfather at 15 and is seduced by her adopted father a year later; her further sexual adventures eventually leave her sterile. Inevitably, Kawashima marries her off, to a Mongolian prince. Unhappy in Mongolia, Yoshiko escapes to Tokyo, where she becomes a professional mistress, and then to Shanghai. As Japan and China tumble into war, one of Yoshiko's new lovers recruits her as a spy; American reporter Jack Stone soon arrives to further complicate matters of loyalty and righteousness. This lush, challenging portrait of a woman who dared to make her own choices—bad though they were—in terrible, oppressive times also makes a steamy historical beach read. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596917033
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.83(d)

Meet the Author

Born in England and raised in Scotland, Maureen Lindley has worked as a photographer, antique dealer, and dress designer, and trained as a psychotherapist. She lives in the Wye valley on the Welsh borders with her husband and daughter. This is her first novel.

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The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
From little known historical facts, the author creates a character to whom we are drawn with the allure of exotic locations, cultures, sex and international intrigue. A young Chinese princess, in the early twentieth century turmoil between China and Japan, is thrust from her home to the not so welcoming arms of a well to do family in Japan. Here she is educated in Japanese tradition and culture. Feeling abandoned by her Chinese family; sexually used by the men of her Japanese family; she finds solace in using her newly learned skills to try to advance herself in Japanese society. Eventually, she trades her services to the Japanese government to act as a spy against her native Chinese. The book's intrigue draws us as easily into the book, as lovers are drawn into her bed. The author's style is very captivating. We are lead smoothly from one richly detailed scene to another. The author paints a portrait of young woman, who is both smart and ruthless in her struggle for acceptance and her need to succeed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story of a female surviver of an abusive childhood, the past is forever changing, but always stays the same
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, I can't say I didn't like the book. I found it to be a page turner and I did not think it was disappointing. Because this is (loosely) based on a true story, I thought the author ended the book well. There were just some parts, where I had to reread because I couldn't believe the detail the author had put into these scenes. They had me thinking, "Seriously?" It is definitely a good book and I would recommend it.
TNReaderRB More than 1 year ago
To me, this book started out strong, but seemed to drag from middle until end. I enjoyed the 4 recommended books far more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With hindsight it was no suprise to learn that Maureen Lindley is a psychotherapist by profession,as she is able to feel great empathy with her subject.But she has more:not every psychotherapist capable of empathy has such a great talent as hers to expres it all in a captivating way of writing.
debbook More than 1 year ago
The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel by Maureen Lindley. 1914, eight-year old Eastern Jewel is the daughter of her father's second concubine, and an embarrassment to the household. She is willful and disobedient, interested in learning about sex and it is when she is caught spying on her father with a servant girl, that he decides to send her to Japan, to live with Kawashima. There her name is Yoshiko and she embraces Japanese culture, but won't allow herself to become close to her Japanese family. "As the years passed I wove myself into the fabric of the Kawashima family life while never losing sight of the fact that my thread was of a different color to theirs." Eventually, Yoshiko learns that she is to be the mistress of Kawashima. But she does not hate this, in fact, she enjoys it. Even as she is given to his friends to use, she finds sex fascinating and powerful. But she is eventually married off, to a man from Mongolia, who is unaware of her reputation. She schemes to get back to Japan and embarks on a new life there before reinventing herself and moving to Shanghai. I really wanted to like this book. The synopses made it appear as if Eastern Jewel lives the exciting life of a spy. None of that happens until more than halfway through the book. It is based on a true story but reads more like a memoir than a novel. It is well-written but really more about the men she seduces than anything else. There is a lot of sex but not a lot of plot. I don't feel that the author really developed the character of Eastern Jewel. She doesn't become close to anyone, and seems only interested in sex and being unconventional. Boring! I don't know how much is based on fact, but Lindley should have used a little more creative license and made this book interesting. It just dragged on and on. The worse part is that it could have been a really good book. Lindley can write and is very descriptive. But she needed to describe more than sex and seduction. She had a ready-made plot, exciting locales and it just flopped. Things got a little more interesting near the end, but by this time I did not care and just wanted the book to be over with. The only good thing is that I did not pay for this book, I got it from Shelf Awareness. my rating 2/5 http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/