Russia, 1910. Young Valentina Ivanova charms St Petersburg's aristocracy with her classic Russian beauty and her talent as a pianist. She scandalises society when she begins a romance with Jens Friis, a Danish engineer. He brings to her life a passion and an intimacy she has never known. Unbending in their opposition, her parents push her into a loveless engagement with a Russian count. Valentina struggles for independence and to protect her young sister from the tumult sweeping the city, as Russia is bound for rebellion. The Tsar, the Duma and the Bolsheviks are at each other's throats. Valentina is forced to make a choice that changes her life for ever…
Davinsky Labour Camp, Siberia, 1933: Sofia Morozova knows she has to escape. Only two things have sustained her through the bitter cold, aching hunger and hard labour: the prospect of one day walking free; and the stories told by her friend Anna, beguiling tales of a charmed upbringing in Petrograd? and of Anna's fervent love for a passionate revolutionary, Vasily. So when Anna falls gravely ill, Sofia makes a promise to escape the camp and find Vasily: to chase the memory that has for so long spun hope in both their hearts. But Sofia knows that times have changed. Russia, gripped by the iron fist of Communism, is no longer the country of her friend's childhood. Her perilous search takes her from industrial factories to remote villages, where she discovers a web of secrecy and lies, but also bonds of courage and loyalty? and an overwhelming love that threatens her promise to Anna.
An epic journey of love and discovery from the national bestselling author of The Russian Concubine and The Red Scarf.
China, 1929. For years Lydia Ivanova believed her father was killed by the Bolsheviks. But when she learns he is imprisoned in Stalin-controlled Russia, the fiery girl is willing to leave everything behind – even her Chinese lover, Chang An Lo.
Lydia begins a dangerous search, journeying to Moscow with her half-brother Alexei. But when Alexei abruptly disappears, Lydia is left alone, penniless in Soviet Russia.
All seems lost, but Chang An Lo has not forgotten Lydia. He knows things about her father that she does not. And while he races to protect her, she is prepared to risk treacherous consequences to discover the truth.
Kate Furnivall was inspired by her mother’s story to write this book. The Russian Concubine contains fictional characters and events, but makes use of the extraordinary situation that was her mother’s childhood experience – that of two White Russian refugees, a mother and daughter, stuck without money or papers in an International Settlement in China. Kate Furnivall and her husband live by the sea in the beautiful county of Devon.
A sweeping novel set in war-torn 1928 China, with a star-crossed love story at its center.
In a city full of thieves and Communists, danger and death, spirited young Lydia Ivanova has lived a hard life. Always looking over her shoulder, the sixteen-year-old must steal to feed herself and her mother, Valentina, who numbered among the Russian elite until Bolsheviks murdered most of them, including her husband. As exiles, Lydia and Valentina have learned to survive in a foreign land.
Often, Lydia steals away to meet with the handsome young freedom fighter Chang An Lo. But they face danger: Chiang Kai Shek's troops are headed toward Junchow to kill Reds like Chang, who has in his possession the jewels of a tsarina, meant as a gift for the despot's wife. The young pair's all-consuming love can only bring shame and peril upon them, from both sides. Those in power will do anything to quell it. But Lydia and Chang are powerless to end it.