Avid historical fiction lovers, you’re in for a treat! Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours has offered a copy of Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones to one of my lucky readers (US only). Visit the complete tour schedule to check out reviews by other bloggers.
In 1936, classical pianist Thomas Greene is recruited to Shanghai to lead a jazz orchestra of fellow African-American expats. From being flat broke in segregated Baltimore to living in a mansion with servants of his own, he becomes the toast of a city obsessed with music, money, pleasure and power, even as it ignores the rising winds of war.
Song Yuhua is refined, educated, and bonded since age eighteen to Shanghai’s most powerful crime boss in payment for her father’s gambling debts. Outwardly submissive, she burns with rage and risks her life spying on her master for the Communist Party.
Only when Shanghai is shattered by the Japanese invasion do Song and Thomas find their way to each other. Though their union is forbidden, neither can back down from it in the turbulent years of occupation and resistance that follow. Torn between music and survival, freedom and commitment, love and world war, they are borne on an irresistible riff of melody and improvisation to Night in Shanghai’s final, impossible choice.
In this impressively researched novel, Nicole Mones not only tells the forgotten story of black musicians in the Chinese Jazz age, but also weaves in a stunning true tale of Holocaust heroism little-known in the West.
When reading Night in Shanghai, you can’t help but notice the incredible care and imeticulous attention to detail Mones took in her research. The perspective is certainly unique, too: I think of jazz as being so American; I didn’t realize there was a Chinese Jazz age at all. There is a noticeable difference between the freedoms and lives of both African-American expats and women in Shanghai and the United States during this time.
This giveaway is open to US readers only, and will close at 11:59 pm (CST) Sunday, April 20.