The Lives Before Us
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The Lives Before Us

4.46 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"I wasn't sure I liked the sound of it. Even my vivid imagination could hardly fathom a place as tight, or dense, or narrow as Shanghai."


It's April 1939 and, with their lives in Berlin and Vienna under threat, Esther and Kitty - two very different women - are forced to make the same brutal choice. Flee Europe, or face the ghetto, incarceration, death.


Shanghai, they've heard, Shanghai is a haven - and so they secure passage to the other side of the world. What they find is a city of extremes - wealth, poverty, decadence and disease - and of deep political instability. Kitty has been lured there with promises of luxury, love, marriage - but when her Russian fiance reveals his hand she's left to scratch a vulnerable living in Shanghai's nightclubs and dark corners. Meanwhile, Esther and her little girl take shelter in a house of widows until the protection of Aaron, Esther's hot-headed former lover, offers new hope of survival.


Then the Japanese military enters the fray and violence mounts. As Kitty's dreams of escape are dashed, and Esther's relationship becomes tainted, the two women are thrown together in the city's most desperate times. Together they must fight for a future for the lives that will follow theirs.





PRAISE FOR THE LIVES BEFORE US:


'The Lives Before Us opens up a captivating new world in a war I thought I knew about, a raucous Casablanca transposed to the East, filled with the intrigues of outcasts and determined survivors.' - ALEX CHRISTOFI, author of Glass


'Juliet Conlin brings wartime Shanghai to vividly to life with a wealth of fascinating detail.' - SARA SHERIDAN, author of The Ice Maiden


'Chronicles the courage and endurance of two women in wartime Shanghai, separated, then reunited, in a dangerous and desperate place. Strongly drawn characters quickly demand attention, and empathy, and their compelling story charts a little known aspect of the Second World War, and of a persecution felt far beyond Europe.' - SARAH MAINE, author of The House Between Tides
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 35mm | 373g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1785302302
  • 9781785302305
  • 31,209

Review quote

'The Lives Before Us opens up a captivating new world in a war I thought I knew about, a raucous Casablanca transposed to the East, filled with the intrigues of outcasts and determined survivors.' - ALEX CHRISTOFI, author of Glass ; 'Juliet Conlin brings wartime Shanghai to vividly to life with a wealth of fascinating detail.' - SARA SHERIDAN, author of The Ice Maiden ; 'Chronicles the courage and endurance of two women in wartime Shanghai, separated, then reunited, in a dangerous and desperate place. Strongly drawn characters quickly demand attention, and empathy, and their compelling story charts a little known aspect of the Second World War, and of a persecution felt far beyond Europe.' - SARAH MAINE, author of The House Between Tides
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About Juliet Conlin

Juliet Conlin was born in London and grew up in England and Germany. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Durham. She works as a writer and translator and lives with her husband and four children in Berlin. Her novels include The Fractured Man (Cargo, 2013) and The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days (Black & White Publishing, 2017).
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Rating details

13 ratings
4.46 out of 5 stars
5 46% (6)
4 54% (7)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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