Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Beginning: Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones


Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.



The years before the war forced everyone in Shanghai to choose: Nationalists or Communists? Resist the Japanese invaders or collaborate with them?

-- Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones.  Great beginning for setting the scene in pre-WWII Shanghai. But it doesn't hint at the terrific premise, which is how black American jazz musicians expatriated to Shanghai in the 1930s to avoid prejudice in the US.

Mones put meticulous research into this sliver of fascinating history.  But the historical details never bog down the exciting, sexy story of an American pianist falling in love with a Chinese spy. Great stuff!

Night in Shanghai is the fourth novel by Nicole Mones, following Lost in Translation, A Cup of Light, and The Last Chinese Chef.


  1. What an interesting time and characters. There are so many unusual historical themes that authors find and use.

  2. Hi Gilion,

    Those first lines are not the most inspiring I have come across and based on them alone, I may pass this book by on the shelves.

    However, both your potted synopsis and the full length version, which I couldn't resist checking out, tell a much different story.

    The book does indeed sound rich with historical fact and human suffering and emotion.

    I do hope that you continue to enjoy it and have a great weekend,


  3. I love reading about Chinese history. I will be looking for this book.

  4. Those opening lines don't give an insight into the book you describe - I wonder why. I thought it may have been similar to Wild Swans: Three daughters of China by Jung Chang, until I read the rest of your post.

  5. This is a great read for British readers familiar with London...

  6. I like the sound of this one. May have to add it to the ever-growing TBR.

  7. I love books in this setting and with history.

    Thanks for sharing. Sounds quite good.

    Have a great weekend.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  8. This sounds like a promising read. Thanks for posting about it!

  9. Your synopsis put that book on my to-be-read list. Sounds wonderful.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...