"Wherever I went I couldn’t escape the blaring blah blah hot din, what they called the jenao, which went on in the streets almost around the clock. But then I didn’t want to escape. …That city held an all day party celebration, and I was part of it … My world expanded and my potential grew: on the Settlement’s flat landscape and straight streets I could see for miles."
Having read The Great Gatsby a couple of times, my sense is that Shanghai Scarlet is another of such vintage. It’s subtle, it’s atmospheric, unique and evocative. A superb novel.
... the dazzling novel based on pre-revolutionary Shanghai where she was born. The poignant love story stayed in my mind long after I had turned the last page.
... I am full of admiration for your success in pulling together the human story of the doomed lovers with your really admirable overview of the artistic and intellectual ...
A fascinating story, which makes for compelling reading, Shanghai Scarlet is a wonderful evocation of a bygone era, one sure to appeal to many readers. ...
I enjoyed the book immensely, and was most impressed by the research ... the background to the story of Mu Shiying and Qiu Peipei is really fascinating and endlessly illuminating.
Margaret Blair's impressive research brings pre-revolutionary Shanghai to life. After reading Shanghai Scarlet, I felt that I knew Mu Shiying and Qiu Peipei, and had a real ...
This impressive historical novel is movingly written and in a style that fits well with the mood and feel of the 1930s and 1940s...
Shanghai Scarlet is a compelling story with marvellous pacing and a terrifying conclusion.
Rich detail on a world long gone … providing a stunning read of deep emotional impact.
Historical Novel Society
The world of 1930s Shanghai is vividly brought to life in Margaret Blair’s Shanghai Scarlet, which centers on a young man named Mu Shiying, a rising star in the city’s literary scene who loves the Western trends infusing bars, nightclubs, and literary venues of Shanghai. ...
Lesley Duncan, United Kingdom, The Herald
SHANGHAI RECALLED IN FACT AND FICTION
The author’s second book is an altogether more ambitious undertaking, the result of much intelligent research and thought, as well as imaginative projection. It is equally linked to the author’s fascination with the Shanghai of her formative years. The title is Shanghai Scarlet. It is both a love story and a compelling evocation of Shanghai in the 1930s and early 1940s....
Kirkus (Indie) Reviews, United States
Two young lovers contend with the political unrest of 1930s Shanghai in this historical novel.
Blair draws readers into a world of political unrest, slashed dreams and persistent hope for peace in the war-torn city of Shanghai. … Serious, informative and graphic, this book expertly plumbs despair....
Carissa Harwood, United States The U.S. Review of Books
Richly crafted with nuance, this novel transports the reader inside the life and minds of the characters. You are invited to join a world hidden in mystery and intrigue, from war torn Shanghai’s dance halls and nightclubs, to quiet backroom salons. … Continue Reading