Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Janie Chang's latest, Dragon Springs Road. I am giving away a copy of Dragon Springs Road so be sure to read through to the end to enter.
Jialing and her mother lived together happily for years. Their home, the Western Residence of a larger estate, was their own and only Jialing's mother ventured out for the things they needed. And though her mother had left before, she always came back.
That changes the year Jialing turns seven. This time, her mother leaves and never returns. As it turns out, the estate has been sold to a new family, one that, upon discovering the orphaned Jialing, agree to take her on as a bond servant. With the Yangs, Jialing has a home, food, and even a friend. But as the years pass and Jialing becomes older, she realizes that she won't be able to rely on the Yangs forever. And the prospects of any other Shanghai girl aren't necessarily open to Jialing. See, Jialing is zazhong - Eurasian.
With the surprising guidance of a fox, Jialing comes into her own and decides the first thing to be done is to find her mother. But as hurdle after hurdle is thrown her way, the world around her becomes more tense. The government is overthrown, the economy suffers, and Jialing's future becomes more unclear.
In Dragon Springs Road, Janie Chang once again combines history, culture, and lore in a story about courage, friendship, and identity. The book is set between the years of 1908 and 1920, a great period of change and upheaval for China. And while that's not the main focus of the story, those changes affect Jialing even when she's too young to notice them.
Jialing has little interest in much of those happenings, especially in her early years. She's waiting for her mother to return. That she'll return is something young Jialing never doubts, but as she grows older it becomes clearer to her just how little she even knows about her mother. She knows the name of the man who owned the estate they lived on. She knows her mother was there with his blessing, likely as his mistress. And she knows when they left. Not much for a girl determined to track someone down to go on.
Honestly, the setting and Jialing's own mixed parentage provide a backdrop for a story that really could have been much darker for our heroine. Instead, Jialing, who is quite clever in her own right, finds a surprising ally in a fox spirit that resides on the estate. That spirit shows Jialing its own history while guiding her to opportunities and people that have great impact on the girl's life. The challenges she faces do make her stronger and, though there are dark threads throughout the tale, her story is ultimately a hopeful one.
I absolutely adore Janie Chang's writing. Her debut, Three Souls, was a definite favorite of mine and Dragon Springs Road easily joins ranks alongside its predecessor. Chang is a wonderful storyteller, weaving history and fiction together in such a way as to enhance the understanding of one and the enjoyment of the other without fail. Diving into her work is a truly wonderful experience!
And now for the giveaway! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, February 27. Open US only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.
For more on Janie Chang and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble