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The Last Rose of Shanghai: A Novel Kindle Edition
"A powerful story of the relationship between a Shanghai heiress and a Jewish refugee...one readers will never forget." ―Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star
"A must-read for historical fiction lovers. Filled with page-turning suspense and a poignant and unforgettable love story, Weina Dai Randel wholly immerses the reader in this richly detailed and powerfully drawn story." ―Chanel Cleeton, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
In Japanese-occupied Shanghai, two people from different cultures are drawn together by fate and the freedom of music...
1940. Aiyi Shao is a young heiress and the owner of a formerly popular and glamorous Shanghai nightclub. Ernest Reismann is a penniless Jewish refugee driven out of Germany, an outsider searching for shelter in a city wary of strangers. He loses nearly all hope until he crosses paths with Aiyi. When she hires Ernest to play piano at her club, her defiance of custom causes a sensation. His instant fame makes Aiyi's club once again the hottest spot in Shanghai. Soon they realize they share more than a passion for jazz—but their differences seem insurmountable, and Aiyi is engaged to another man.
As the war escalates, Aiyi and Ernest find themselves torn apart, and their choices between love and survival grow more desperate. In the face of overwhelming odds, a chain of events is set in motion that will change both their lives forever.
From the electrifying jazz clubs to the impoverished streets of a city under siege, The Last Rose of Shanghai is a timeless, sweeping story of love and redemption.
From the Publisher
It’s against this backdrop that we see a heart-wrenching love story play out. Aiyi, a wealthy young Chinese woman, and Ernest, a Jewish jazz pianist, fall hopelessly in love. The stakes couldn’t be higher. From vastly different backgrounds, they must hide their relationship from their families and the authorities. As the horrors of war close in on them, they find themselves trapped—both by their respective cultures and by their enemies.
Desperate to survive, they have to make impossible choices. No matter what Aiyi and Ernest choose, there will be loss. But what I love most about The Last Rose of Shanghai is that we also see what they gain as they fight for survival. We see their hope—not just to reunite, but for a better world. As I watched Aiyi and Ernest withstand doubt and despair, I ached for them and for Shanghai, the city that opened its arms to refugees when they had nowhere else to go.
—Jodi Warshaw, Editor
“Fans of sweeping, dramatic WWII epics that are rich in historical detail, such as Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls or Paullina Simons’s The Bronze Horseman will be enthralled.” ―Booklist
“Weina Dai Randel’s novel deserves a place of distinction among WWII fiction.” ―Historical Novel Society
“The Last Rose of Shanghai is a powerful story of the relationship between a Shanghai heiress and a Jewish refugee, set against the backdrop of a nightclub in China on the eve of the Second World War. Weina Dai Randel skillfully shines a light on a little-known moment in history through the lens of two vividly drawn characters whose unique and unexpected relationship is one readers will never forget.” ―Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star
“Set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, this is an unforgettable, page-turning tale of an impossible affair between lovers from two cultures. Randel casts an unflinching eye at the horrors of wartime Shanghai, where refugees starve while the wealthy and privileged continue to drink and dance, and where daily threats of danger and death only serve to fan forbidden passions to a blazing climax.” ―Janie Chang, bestselling author of Dragon Springs Road and The Library of Legends
“The Last Rose of Shanghai vividly depicts the clash of East and West as Jewish refugees flee Hitler’s Berlin for faraway Shanghai, where they struggle to survive amid the uneasy coexistence of Chinese magnates and Japanese invaders. Sophisticated heiress Aiyi knows she is taking a risk when she hires Jewish pianist Ernest to play jazz in her nightclub, but she has no idea she will be risking her heart, her family, and everything she holds dear as forbidden love blossoms and Japan’s hold on her beloved home city tightens. Weina Dai Randel’s poignant, sweeping love story paints a vibrant portrait of a little-known slice of World War II history. Not to be missed!” ―Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code and The Huntress
“A sweeping novel that transports readers to 1940s Shanghai, The Last Rose of Shanghai is a must-read for historical fiction lovers. Filled with page-turning suspense and a poignant and unforgettable love story, Weina Dai Randel wholly immerses the reader in this richly detailed and powerfully drawn story.” ―Chanel Cleeton, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
“Set against a panorama so vivid you can almost hear the jazz in Aiyi Shao’s nightclub, Weina Dai Randel brings to life fascinating WWII history new to me and, I imagine, countless other readers. The story of a well-born entrepreneur and the German-Jewish refugee she loves will stay with you long after The Last Rose of Shanghai ends.” ―Sally Koslow, author of Another Side of Paradise
“In a novel that spans time, space, and culture, The Last Rose of Shanghai is a riveting story of love, heartbreak, and redemption. The smoky night clubs, jazz bars, luxury hotels, family compounds, and refugee settlements of Japanese-occupied Shanghai provide a fascinating background to the lives of those caught in the crossfires of war. Weina Dai Randel is a skilled artist, giving the reader well drawn characters of great depth, complexity, and heart. In the WWII genre, within the genre of historical fiction, The Last Rose of Shanghai stands out for its boldness and originality.” ―Erika Robuck, bestselling author of The Invisible Woman
Praise for The Moon in the Palace
“A must for historical fiction fans, especially those fascinated by China’s glorious past.” ―Library Journal (starred review)
“A very successful and transporting novel that beautifully captures the sounds, smells, and social mores of seventh-century China.” ―Historical Novels Review (Editors’ Choice)
“The Moon in the Palace depicts Empress Wu’s sharp, persistent spirit but does not neglect to make her believably naive and vulnerable, an untried girl among ruthless women. The intrigue and machinations of the imperial court come to life under her hand, a vast and dangerous engine with each piece moving for its own reasons.” ―Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“A full-immersion, compulsively readable tale that rivals both Anchee Min’s Empress Orchid (2004), about the dowager empress Cixi, and the multilayered biographical novel Empress (2006) by Shan Sa, which also features Empress Wu.” ―Booklist (starred review) --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B08YYY8ZNX
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (1 December 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 4612 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 429 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 297 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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My only disappointment with the book was the last 2 chapters
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This does purport to show a usually forgotten piece of history, and that is the Jewish Pogrom in Shanghai, but this does it only rather superficially and thus does not fulfil what probably many people would want to know more of. What we are then ultimately given though is ultimately an historical romance. The main tale takes place through 1940-45, with interludes from 1980 as the main female character of the book meets with a documentarian to give her tale of what happened in the Second World War in Shanghai. It does not take long for us to realise that there will be a revelation in the novel as to why Aiyi has chosen the person that she has and is offering her the deeds to the hotel where they are meeting.
Where Aiyi is concerned all her pieces here are in the first person, but when it comes to the main male character, Ernest, these are in the third person. One thing that will strike many is that if the character is a German citizen, then his name should surely be Ernst, after all Ernest is the English language equivalent. Logically though we should only have the story from Aiyi as this is supposed to be her recollections, and thus nothing from Ernest, which shows poor plot preparation and also highlights the artificiality of the story as a whole.
Aiyi’s story is good enough as it is without the other bits added, well good enough for an average romance tale, because some of the elements are a bit far-fetched. This is a young lady who owns her own club, and she is really too young even more so seeing that she comes from a conservative and thus traditional family background. Her falling in love with someone from a different race seems to be just because he has blue eyes. The tale though told about her arranged marriage, her feelings for what is a foreigner are thus okay, but the added pieces showing Ernest feel like just a chance to climb aboard the Holocaust bus and hopefully push a few more copies. Perhaps I am a bit too cynical, but that is what this felt to me. If you are looking for what is really an average romance then this will do you, however if you are looking for something more involved and with deeper depth to the characters, then you will need to look elsewhere, as this never reaches its full potential.
I received this book through Amazon First Reads. I was debating for a while whether to get this or another book, but I am so glad I chose this one.
I am slightly lost for words by how much I loved this book. A beautiful story which is beautifully written.
I fell in love with the characters, flaws and all. I was intrigued by the history, which clearly, has been so very well researched. I loved every page.
I really did not want it to end.
I’m not sure how accurate it is regarding Jews escaping to Shanghai and the Japanese occupation of China, so if you’re a historian looking for accuracy, then this story may annoy if you find half truths.
Putting that aside, if you like stories themed like Romeo & Juliet or Gone with the wind, this is a story you will enjoy.
[This is genuinely the first book I've read for ages that I can't wait to pick up again.]