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I think this book stirred me as few books I have read have stirred me in these past months. It made China live for me, the China of Han Suyin's childhood, the China under the cloud of war lords, the China struggling into new birth, the China rising from the ashes of continuous attack, bombing, defeat and rebirth, the China that persists, in remote and sheltered cases of peace, redolent of the traditions, barely shaken by the new spirit. It is autobiography -- the story of a girl of the upper classes, of the infiltration of the new China spirit which gave her courage to go to England to study, of her romance, a love story that is universal in appeal, of her return with Pao to China there to dedicate themselves to China's struggle against the all powerful enemy. Then the strange pattern of their life there, -- now in Hongkong, now in Hankow, now in headlong flight which makes the picture of refugee crowded roads of France seem almost luxurious, now in Chungking, seat of Chiang Kai-Shek's General Staff. A strange interlude of peace, while she visits her ancestral home -- away from the ever-shifting war front -- an inside picture of traditional Chinese life still going on, and making the subsequent terror and horror of the Chungking bombing all the more unforgettable. At the last, reunion in Chungking, still under bombing -- but imperishable in the spirit of the people and their land. A superb book, beautifully written, with the beauty of the Oriental conception and turn of phrase, tempered by a simplicity of deep emotion. Don't miss it. The timing should be right -- the interest there to be caught.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1942
Publisher: Little, Brown