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A fast moving story of war, love, betrayals and cabaret life against a background of pioneering aviation in 1930 pre-war China.
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China Diaries based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Louis Stannard pounces onto the scene of excellent fiction authors with this, his first novel CHINA DIARIES, and if this superb book is an indication of other works to come, Stannard is destined to be a best selling new author of popular highly charged action/intrigue/romance novels. It is refreshing to encounter a first novel of such range and capable writing. CHINA DIARIES is a beautifully crafted novel that not only tells a terrific story, it also brings to light a portion of history that has been buried in the history books. Stannard's main character Stephen Cannon is engaged in a detective mystery that focuses on his parents and his perception of his mother, one Anna Boreisha, a Russian émigré from Shanghai and Nanking, who deserted him shortly after his birth to return to China.The bulk of the novel takes place in the latter part of 1941 when the Japanese bombed the Western Coast of China including Hong Kong and the many islands in the Pacific (Pearl Harbor, Wake, Guam, etc) on their way to mirroring in Asia what Hitler was accomplishing in Europe. It is during this time of terror that Alex Cannon, a Pan AM pilot, meets Anna, they fall in love, marry, and become pregnant with Stephen. The remainder of the story is how the couple returns to the USA and the way their lives merge and dissipate after that.But this is not just a significant love story, it is a deeply researched study of WW II as it affected the US intervention into the war following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a very informative and extended expose' of how the Japanese carried out a Chinese genocide (the Rape of Nanking is only a small example) and how this has remained a controversial and occult secret throughout history. And as if that weren't enough to peak the interest of any reader, Stannard explores the dissolution of Tsarist Russia and the subsequent rise of the Bolsheviks and Communism that drove Anna's family to flee to China as a country that would accept them without passports. This is Anna's past and brings to the novel the plight of the Russian émigrés. Rarely has the history of the Whites versus the Reds during the Russian Revolution been so succinctly and beautifully described.If this sounds like a lot of information for a novel to carry, then reading this book will prove the gifts of Louis Stannard, for he is able to tightly weave details from history into a fictional search for family identity in a manner too infrequently encountered in young novelists. This is a remarkable book, begging for a screenplay adaptation, and is a class calling card for an exceptional talent. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, April 05