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This book could have been beautifully written had it had one or twoediting passes There were passages which should have flowed elegantly across the page, but their verbosity made them clunky I felt this lack of conservation affected the book s pacing in places.Anya is the belle of the ball at her own pity party Young, handsome men and strong, courageous women fall over themselves to help her and stay loyal to her throughout this book, and I still can t work out why Her one mindedness in finding her mother is ruthless, and while every one of her friends has managed to carve out some sort of life of happiness despite the great tragedies they have experienced, Anya just cannot She came across to me as not just sad, but dour and selfish.What this book does have going for it is a wonderful story, with a fairytale like quality and exciting, exotic settings Although it probably qualifies as a romance , the subject does not come up very often, and doesn t get in the way of the story Writers will probably notice the book s flaws muchthan readers. [[ DOWNLOAD PDF ]] ↜ White Gardenia ↙ In A District Of The City Of Harbin, A Haven For White Russian Families Since Russia S Communist Revolution, Alina Kozlova Must Make A Heartbreaking Decision If Her Only Child, Anya, Is To Survive The Final Days Of World War II White Gardenia Sweeps Across Cultures And Continents, From The Glamorous Nightclubs Of Shanghai To The Harshness Of Cold War Soviet Russia In The S, From A Desolate Island In The Pacific Ocean To A New Life In Post War Australia Both Mother And Daughter Must Make Sacrifices, But Is The Price Too High Most Importantly Of All, Will They Ever Find Each Other Again Rich In Incident And Historical Detail, This Is A Compelling And Beautifully Written Tale About Yearning And Forgiveness White Gardenia Announces The Arrival Of A Powerful New Talent Depicts Vividly The Powerful Lifelong Bond Between Mothers And Daughters Paullina Simons Belinda Alexandra Loved, Loved, LOVED this book If I could give it 10 stars, I would Definitely the best book I ve read this year so far, and I ve found myself another favourite author Belinda is such an amazing story telling, don t know why I haven t read any of her books before Was interesting to learn what Russian s had to deal with during World War II I could not imagine what Anya must of had to go through being separated from her mother at just 13 year of age And to have such a tough life too I laughed and cried with her through the whole book Don t understand how a husband could leave his wife for dead just to save himself And Amelia was so spiteful too Yes, there are bastards like Dimitri around, but their are good guys like Ivan too Was so happy that Anya managed to find her mother in the end, even if it did take her 23 years Would love it if this book was made into a movie 250 2 6003, 24 . Here is another audiobook I have listened to recently This one was great It grabbed my attention from start to finish I took no notes, just listened and sucked up the story Marvelous from start to finish.This is historical fiction at its best Although fiction it is based on the mother and grandmother of the author It is about the experiences of White Russians living in Harbin, China Mother and daughter are split up when the Japanese invade China and Manchuria is subsequently occupied by Soviet Communist troops one is sent back to Russia and the other must flee to Shanghai The book is about their journeys and their search for each other The book is good because the different places are magnificently described You learn about Harbin, Shanghai, refuge camps in the Philippines and finally emigration to Australia And I have not described the mother s trajectory The plot is exciting The narration is superb The voice intonations of Americans, Australians and Russians is just perfect.If you wish to be transported from your own life to another world, this is the book to choose, and you will learn history in the most enjoyable of manners Please listen to the audio version It is an added plus. This was an interesting book about a place and time I honestly didn t know about It began in Harbin, China during the Japanese occupation and told the story of a Russian family primarily the daughter who lived their lives in China When the Japanese were overthrown the Russian immigrants were in trouble with the communists being Russian tsarists Not facing any hope of a future in either China or Russia, the daughter ends up a refugee in Australia.As I say, the story was really interesting and I almost gave it 3 stars but the writing was a bit heavy for my taste I felt the author didn t give me enough credit to pick up on any nuances so most major points were shouted loud and clear multiple times This made the book longer than it needed to be and stopped me from being lost in it But I don t want to discourage other readers because I suspect this ismy personal taste than a reflection on Ms Alexandra s writing. . . Belinda Alexandra , , , , 2005, , , , ,, , ,, ,, , ,, , , , ,, , , ,, , ,, ,, , ,,, , , , , , ,, , , , ,, , , ,, , , , . Thank you to Gallery Books for providing me with an egalley copy of the book to review.I debated whether or not to finish this book, and about 40% in I kept saying I ll read just onechapter and if I don t like it I ll give up I got to 60% until I finally decided to stick to this decision White Gardenia is a book that starts off on a very strong note, one that gave me high hopes for what was ahead The Anya we meet in the beginning is a girl with personality and the obvious existence of a backbone The writing is equally mesmerizing and exotic, complementing the protagonist wonderfully But as I continued reading, Anya began to sink into the background, which in turn became theemphasized factor of the book Her stay in Shanghai was by far my favourite part, and I would say also the strongest part of the book both in terms of character development and creating an atmosphere that transported the reader to Asia Afterwards, the story wen somewhat downhill for me in a way I didn t expect and was disappointed to see I really was rooting for Anya, for her to find happiness she deserved and overcome her challenges Insteadandcharacters are introduced in what resembles a feeble attempt to rescue the drowning Anya who is losing to the setting of the novel, sinking fast It grew difficult to keep track of the characters as they also became less and less fleshed out, and the setting ultimately won.It s difficult to point out the point of the story as well As a survivor story it wasn t very convincing as Anya loses some of the spark with each consecutive chapter It also didn t do much to set itself apart from other WW2 fiction besides the original journey in terms of destination that the characters take Besides that, Anya dropped to the level of a regular refugee who lost that initial liveliness she had in her within the first several chapters, and that was the ultimate disappointment There wasn t incentive to continue reading when the protagonist doesn t make you feel empathetic and the story feels like it isn t going anywhere.Perhaps there s something I missed, or it s my own expectations that should be to blame But White Gardenia started off on a strong note and went downhill from that, making me losing my interest until it didn t seem purposeful to continue The story was missing that spark of life, whatever that may have been in this case Either way it wasn t my cup of tea, or coffee. I love Cold War fiction I know little about the now dissolved Soviet Union though I m a hobbyist collector of all things Chernobyl, which is actually Ukrainian, but still very close , but it makes for some great works of fiction, especially the citizens in Russia and their life and times during this uncertainty and chaos post WWII White Gardenia is a beautiful story despite the societal turmoil in the background, introducing a wide sea of realistic, wonderful characters.