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Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang

Author of The Woman Who Lost China

2+ Works 48 Members 30 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Rhiannon Jenkins Tsiang

Works by Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang

The Woman Who Lost China (2013) 40 copies, 29 reviews
The last vicereine : a novel (2017) 8 copies, 1 review

Associated Works

Hong Kong Noir (2018) — Contributor — 42 copies, 10 reviews


Common Knowledge




This book is a work of fiction, but the storyline parallels the timeline and events which unfolded throughout 1947 and 1948 when Lord Louis Mountbatten and his wife Edwina travelled from the United Kingdom to India to become the last Viceroy and Vicereine of India, Lord Mountbatten's task being to guide the country through the process of Partitioning, which lead to the formation, at that time of two nations of India and Pakistan. The book is narrated by a fictional 'Lady Wallace' who accompanies them to become a personal assistant to Edwina. We learn of Edwina's work in India, assisting the poor, the sick, and the homeless. She is a tireless worker, and together she and Lady Wallace travel widely, and attend all manner of events, visiting hospitals, schools and civic functions. We learn of Edwina's interactions with historical figures of the time including Gandhi and Nehru, the latter of whom she develops a deep relationship. There is romance and intrigue as the story unfolds. This is a well written novel which should enjoy wide appeal.… (more)
Carole46 | Dec 25, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I had trouble keeping up with all the characters, and really I think if a book requires a character list, then maybe you should narrow your focus.
jenniferjuni | 28 other reviews | Mar 26, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Two chapters into this book I realized that it was going to be heavy on the romance - perhsps a bodice-ripper. I should have been able to discern this from the description given in the Early Reviewers listing, but I did not. My apologies. I think it unfair of me to rate it a book that I didn't come close to finishing.
ParadisePorch | 28 other reviews | Jul 12, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It is 1949 and the Chinese Republic is collapsing under Mao Tse Tung’s communist onslaught.

Manying, distressed, frightened, and uncertain of the fate of her soldier husband, must escape Nanjing with her infant. With the aid of her childhood sweetheart, Manying finds a place on the last train departing the city and endures a horrifying journey to Hong Kong where her brother and sister-in-law take in her and the baby.

Grief-stricken and destitute, Manying struggles to understand the world in which she now finds herself. In the process of remembering the grim fate of her uncle at a provincial court half a century before, and all the consequences of that loss, she makes a discovery: the past molds the present.

Her lot in life still has more in store for her: love, affection, war, sacrifice, noble deeds, corruption, and retaliation all play their part in this epic saga that reaches its climax in twenty-first-century Shanghai.

Jenkins Tsang knows China and the changes that have taken place over the last generations. She writes with poignancy and power of the plight of Chinese women in the transformations wrought as China shifts from Empire to Colony to Trampled to Revolution to something, in some place, in-between that modified friendships, communities, households, livelihoods, faith, language, laws, as well as politics.

As Manying progresses through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood to become the family matriarch, mysteries and enigmas and emotional bonds are shared with the reader as necessitated to expose and explain the transformations in environmental and emotional landscapes. The control of words, images, and sensory perspicacity enables the reader to explore and examine the narrative from place to place and time to time.

Through the narrative of one family, Jenkins Tsang exposes the turbulence and tension that a change of regime and a turnover of military leadership can produce. The reader observes households cared for by others and families caring for one another, oftentimes with confidence, yet without comprehension. Drama, and even trauma, produce a shifting panorama of power and passion. This book is a boon to all families rent by civil war and civil change by an author that understands her subject.

RHIANNON JENKINS TSANG was born and educated in Yorkshire. She read Chinese at Oxford and made her first trip to China at the age of nineteen. She has worked as a freelance writer in Taiwan. One of her short stories was selected as runner-up in the Woman and Home magazine short-story competition. Another of her short stories about being an English mother with a baby in Taiwan was broadcast on BBC Radio Oxford. A non-practicing lawyer, she has worked in business in the UK and Taiwan. Currently at work on her next publication, Rhiannon lives in a traditional Nottinghamshire village with her husband and their nine-year-old son.

I received an e-copy of this book from Library Thing in exchange I have written my candid evaluation of this publication.
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JorjaADavis | 28 other reviews | Jan 14, 2014 |

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½ 3.3