A sweeping story of mothers and daughters, set against a grand canvas of post-revolutionary Russia, early Communist China, the south seas and contemporary Australia
Beginning in a small village on the Chinese–Russian border in the final days of World War II, this novel tells the story of a mother and daughter separated by war. In a district of the city of Harbin, a haven for White Russian families since Russia's Communist revolution, Alina Kozlova must make a heartbreaking decision if her only child, Anya, is to live.
WHITE GARDENIA sweeps across cultures and continents, from the glamorous nightclubs of Shanghai to the harshness of Cold War Soviet Russia in the 1960s, from a desolate island in the Pacific Ocean to a new life in post-war Australia. Both mother and daughter must make sacrifices, but is the price of survival too high? Most importantly of all, will they ever find each other again?
Rich in incident and historical detail, this is a compelling and beautifully written tale about yearning and forgiveness.
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"Depicts vividly the powerful lifelong bond between mothers and daughters." (Paullina Simons)
"A passionate and powerful family saga." (The Australian Women's Weekly)
"One of our great storytellers." (The Sunday Telegraph)
"Deidre Rubenstein's well-modulated contralto voice brings empathy and compassion to Alexandra's first novel, loosely based on the true story of a White Russian mother and daughter forced to flee China at the outbreak of WWII. Rubenstein's narrative style, low-key and perfectly enunciated, conveys the struggle to survive and the passion for life that Anya exemplifies. As a refugee, Anya moves from Shanghai to the Philippines, and finally, to Australia, so many different accents and speech patterns are used by Rubenstein to portray the people Anya encounters. Her steady pace and ability to communicate emotions to listeners complement this powerful dramatization as it spans the decades." (AudioFile Magazine)
‘Captivating’ Daily Telegraph
‘A passionate and powerful family saga’ Australian Women’s Weekly
‘Depicts vividly the powerful, lifelong bond between mothers and daughters’ Paullina Simons
‘Rich in detail, and the story fairly rattles along’ Choice
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Book Description HARPERCOLLINS, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110007202814