It's 1931 and British diplomat William Graves and his wife, Amelia, are flung headfirst into the enticing, neon lit streets of Shanghai. As Will helps to maintain the fragile peace between China and Japan, Amelia, alone in a foreign city, seeks solace with a Russian ballet troupe that are more than they seem.
Whispers of protest, revolt, even war, buzz through the city as Will is tasked with rooting out Communist propaganda that could push tensions over the edge into war. But the city's streets hold other intoxicating allures. Will falls into a deep obsession with Feifei, a beautiful silent film star, who is desperate to escape the volatile city and sees Will as her only chance at freedom. As Amelia starts to sense Will's betrayal and the personal and the political begin to blur, will they lose themselves in the electric shadows of Shanghai?
Clare Kane's novel poignantly captures the dreams and desires of the foreign and Chinese characters as they interact with one another in the homes, streets and clubs of the intoxicating and volatile city. This is a haunting debut novel. (Historical Novel Society)
There is corruption, spying, several unhappy marriages and a lot of social climbers. It s definitely an interesting look at Shanghai and what it could be like for people in various social situations in the 1930s. (The Book Bundle)
Clare writes beautifully and her words made me believe I was part of the culture. Immerse yourself in the delights of 'Shanghai, but don t be fooled by the dazzling lights! (A Book and Tea)