All the Flowers in Shanghai is a book about family, tradition, change and about what one person may or may not be able to change. It is at once simple and complex, finely wrought and strong as steel. It is also a story about expectations and how they can trap a person and free the person in unexpected ways as well.
It is the story of a woman who is forced into a situation for which she is wholly unprepared for due to the death of her sister because of family expectations. Her story continues as she navigates the maze of what her new family expects, family, well, "politics" that sit on generations of tradition, and how all of that leads to a tragic decision and the ripple effect it causes through the following years.
All the Flowers of Shanghai is a fictional story, yes, but I would like to think that it provides a little nibble of an insight into the Chinese culture.
While it isn't necessarily an altogether easy read, it is a riveting one and definitely one for the keeper shelves.
Readers previously enchanted by Memoirs of a Geisha, Empress, and the novels of Lisa See will be captivated by Duncan Jepson's marvelous debut, All the Flowers in Shanghai. Evocative, sweeping, yet intimate historical fiction, Jepson's novel transports us to a China on the brink of revolution, and witnesses this colorful, tumultuous world through the eyes of a woman forced into a life not of her choosing and driven to seek a bitter revenge.ÿ This epic journey into the heart of Asia is sure to mesmerize fans of Shanghai Girls and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.