Carissa Harwood, United States, The U.S. Review of Books
“’You have to have plenty of action,’ said Liu, ‘And lots of conversation, too. Otherwise the reader will put the story down and not read it to the end.’”
Mu Shiying is a young man writing modernist stories in Shanghai, China during the jazz explosion of pre-World War II. Caught in a world where he is torn between traditions, Mu Shiying is swept up by the changes tearing apart his country as he writes underground notes against the Nationalist forces that strive to bring China to its knees and change the country he loves forever. Mu Shiying has a weakness for the modern woman who is the embodiment of the future: educated and independent. Meet Qiu Peipei, who shares with Mu Shiying a love of the culture of the Western world. Both are trapped in their own mazes of danger that together they try to escape, the war that is tearing their lives and their country apart.
This is a work of historical fiction … . It is important to mention that with few exceptions, the names of the characters in Shanghai Scarlet are based on real people …