The Distant Land of My Father (Charnwood Library)

4.11 avg rating
( 4,178 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780708994467: The Distant Land of My Father (Charnwood Library)
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Anna Schoene's parents, Joseph and Genevieve, are rich American expats in between-the-wars Shanghai. The child of missionaries, Joseph Schoene has made his fortune living on his wits; he is a man in love with China. For the young Anna, Shanghai is a magical world. But when the Japanese invade and when war comes, Joseph sends his wife and daughter back to America, promising that they will soon be reunited. Despite imprisonment by the Japanese and the loss of much of his fortune, for decades Joseph cannot bring himself to follow them. Anna grows up halfway across the world from her father, and it is only over the years that she gradually learns his real story. . .

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

The Distant Land of My Father begins like a fairy tale: "My father was a millionaire in Shanghai in the 1930s.... On the day he was born, in the province of Shantung, neighbors presented my missionary grandparents, the only Americans for miles, with noodles in great abundance and one hundred chicken eggs, in honor of their son's birth." To the young Anna Schoene, life in Shanghai is indeed magical. There are servants, a luxurious villa, a beautiful mother who smells like Chanel No. 5, and a young, handsome, polo-playing father. Unfortunately, her father is also a smuggler and speculator who loves his freewheeling life more than anything (or anyone) else. Despite warnings, Schoene refuses to leave Shanghai even after the Japanese invade, and his wife and child retreat to Los Angeles; later, he survives imprisonment and torture only to once again choose Shanghai over his family--this time with the Communists moving in.

Bo Caldwell's sepia-toned evocation of 1930s Shanghai is lovely and physical, and given the built-in drama of its setting, this first novel ought to have the vividness of a classic movie. Yet the characters remain oddly flat while world events swirl around them. Great chunks of historical exposition seem largely undigested, while Schoene's final change of heart fails to ring true. In a sense, however, these shortcomings are beside the point. The Distant Land of My Father is above all a tragic romance, albeit one with an unusual love interest. Schoene is so besotted with Shanghai that his wife and daughter are scarcely as real to him as the city itself. --Mary Park

About the Author:

Bo Caldwell is the author of the national bestseller "The Distant Land of My Father "and the novel "City of Tranquil Light". Her short fiction has been published in "Ploughshares", "Story", "Epoch, " and other literary journals. A former Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing at Stanford University, she lives in Northern California with her husband, novelist Ron Hansen.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 35.50
US$ 209.50

Convert currency

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.

Destination, rates & speeds

Add to Basket

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780156027137: The Distant Land of My Father

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0156027135 ISBN 13:  9780156027137
Publisher: Harvest Books, 2002
Softcover

9780811832403: The Distant Land of My Father

Chroni..., 2001
Hardcover

9780099427964: The Distant Land Of My Father

Arrow ..., 2003
Softcover

9780434010035: The Distant Land of My Father

Willia..., 2002
Hardcover

9780434008889: The Distant Land Of My Father

Willia..., 2002
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Bo Caldwell
Published by Charnwood Pub (2003)
ISBN 10: 0708994466 ISBN 13: 9780708994467
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Charnwood Pub, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0708994466

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 209.50
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds