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White Gardenia by Belinda Alexandra
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White Gardenia

by Belinda Alexandra

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2961360,125 (3.64)5
Beginning in a small village under Japanese occupation on the Chinese-Russian border in the final days of Word War II, White gardenia tells the story of a white Russian mother and daughter, separated by war. Both mother and daughter must make sacrifices to survive. But is the price of survival too high? Most importantly of all, can they ever find each other again?… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Diré (más bien, escribiré) dos cosas:

1- Pasa en Rusia y está recomendado por [a:Paullina Simons|47499|Paullina Simons|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1263597025p2/47499.jpg] , así que podrán imaginarse el punto de vista ultra derechista que tiene la novela, bien acorde a la idelogía de Simons .

2- Alexandra no escribe ni la mitad de bien que la autora de [b:The Bronze Horseman|83144|The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1)|Paullina Simons|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327921996s/83144.jpg|12615171].

'Nough said.
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
I just finished reading White Gardenia. It is a riveting book! I am a history buff and enjoyed reading about events that happened in China at the end of World War II.

White Gardenia by Belinda Alexandra takes us back to 1945 in Harbin, China. Anya (Anna Victorovna Kozlova) is the daughter of a Victor Grigorovich Kozlov, a White Russian, and Alina Pavlovna Kozlova. White Russians had to flee Russia after the Czar was forced to abdicate (1917) and find sanctuary in other countries (Paris, United States, United Kingdom, and China). Anya’s father went to China where he met Alina. Anya is thirteen years old when her father dies in an accident. After the end of World War II, the Communist marked into Harbin and took over. Anya and her mother were taken prisoner. Alina is sent to Russia to a labor camp and Anya is taken prison by an awful man named Tang. Anya is rescued from Tang by friends and sent to Shanghai.

In Shanghai Anya stays with Sergei and his wife, Amelia (a very nasty woman). Sergei owns a popular nightclub called Moscow-Shanghai. Anya goes to school until she is fifteen when she starts working at the club. From the beginning Anya is attracted to Sergei’s club manager, Dimitri. Life is not ideal for Anya. Sergei while nice is also an opium addict. Amelia is just after Sergei’s money and treats Anya terribly. Anya and Dimitri marry when Anya turns sixteen.

Shortly after their wedding the Communist army invades Shanghai. All foreigners are told they have to leave the city (or they will be executed). Thanks to a friend at the American consulate, Anya gets on the last boat out of Shanghai. All the refugees are sent to The Philippines. Anya meets new friends at Tubabad. Ruselina and her granddaughter, Irina become Anya’s new family. Anya also catches the attention of Ivan Nakhimovsky. The refuges are given choices of where they can go. Anya ends up in Australia.

In Australia they live temporarily in a refugee camp until assigned jobs (one of the conditions for getting into Australia). Anya and Irina first work at Betty’s restaurant. Anya then gets a job at the Sydney Herald as an assistant and moves up to Beauty Editor (beauty and fashion were big after the war). Anya lives her life, but she is never completely happy. She is always wondering what happened to her mother.

Does Anya ever find out what happened to her mother? Will they reconnect? Can Anya find love and be happy? Read White Gardenia to find out the answers to the questions.

I tried to give you a synopsis of the book without spoilers. White Gardenia has a complicated plot and many characters. I give White Gardenia 4 out of 5 stars. The book is well-written and easy to read (you do not even notice how long it is), but could have done with a little more editing. I hope you enjoy White Gardenia as much as I did.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Feb 17, 2015 |
White Gardenia is one of those sweeping novels of family triumph and tragedy. It starts in China with a family of Russian ex patriots who experience the first of many disasters when the patriarch dies leaving the mother and daughter to the winds of war. World War II is causing all manner of problems for the Russians settled in China as the Japanese who have invaded China are losing ground and ultimately defeated so now the Russians are coming to let’s just say repatriate some of their errant nobility. This is problematic for young Anya and her mother Alina as a crazy Russian agent is determined to send them back to Russia, They are separated as Alina gets sent to a work camp but Anya escapes to Shanghai. From there her story begins.

I love these big, bold generational tales. They often have so much to offer a reader from history to romance to tragedy and more. This novel follows Anya as she grows from teenager to middle aged woman. She experiences so much in her life as she is taken in by friends of the family and thinks she finds love. She goes from Shanghai to exile in the South Pacific to Australia all the while wondering as to the fate of her mother.

The book is rich in historical detail but I found the plot at times just a little too convenient. I recognize that sometimes events are needed to move a story along but Anya had to be the luckiest refugee in the War. Everything turned her way. Even when something bad was happening I never really felt the pull of that negative emotion because I knew from past reading experience that it would all be all right in short order.

The characters were adequately developed and the plot as I mentioned was a little facile. The ending was the biggest disappointment. There was a big buildup to the big event and then….poof. The book was over. I was actually rather shocked. I almost wondered if my ebook was missing a chapter or two. Very frustrating after all that led before, I’ll tell you that.

It was an interesting if sometimes bothersome read. I learned about a part of history of which I had been previously ignorant. I always enjoy reading about parts of the world that I just don’t know that much about so that helped raise the rating. But I have to say the plot was a bit of a disappointment. ( )
  BrokenTeepee | Jan 9, 2015 |
Una niña la cual se queda sola por que su padre fallece y a su madre la trasladan a un campo de trabajo en Siberia. Se va Shanghái en busca de una nueva vida. Mas tarde se traslada a la Australia de los años cincuenta, una tierra aun por descubrir. Y una vez allí consigue el éxito que tanto buscaba.
  Paulacb | Oct 15, 2013 |
Quite a good story although a bit unbelievable. I didn't particularly like the way it was written in the first person by Anya. Her story had too many things " falling into place " for her to make it an interesting historical novel. She travels as a refugee from China to a camp in the Phillipines and then to Australia where she miraculously gets a job as a leading columnist in the newspaper (SMH) We keep on reading how tall and slim and beautiful she is. All the good things that happened to her seemed to come as a result of this "beauty". In the end she manages to travel behind the Iron Curtain ??? to reunite with her mother who has also miraculously survived and there she lost me....... ( )
  lesleynicol | Apr 26, 2013 |
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We Russians believe that if you knock a knife from the table to the floor, a male visitor will come, and if a bird flies into the room, the death of someone close to you is at hand.
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