THE RUSSIAN CONCUBINE
Based on stories told by Furnivall's
mother, this novel, with its unique background and fascinating historical events, presents an exciting portrait of a time and place. Though there's great deal of historically accurate violence, which may disturb some readers, the strong characters, a wonderful heroine and a colorful backdrop will intrigue.
Her escapades attract the attention of a powerful gang, and she finds an unlikely savior in Chang An Lo, an English-speaking kung fu master and Communist supporter. The two begin a clandestine affair -- it's forbidden for a Chinese and a foreigner to be together. As their love grows Chiang Kai Shek's troops are marching on Junchow with orders to kill the rebels. Even though Chang has a tsarina's jewels to present to the leader, the lovers are in great peril. (Berkley, Jul., 560 pp., $15.00)