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Dragon Springs Road    by Janie Chang Amazon.com order for
Dragon Springs Road
by Janie Chang
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2017 (2017)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Author Janie Chang follows her first novel Three Souls with Dragon Springs Road, another sure-fire hit. This new work follows a young girl's life in early twentieth century Shanghai. The living conditions at that period in history in China were not kind to those who were of the lower class. Life was hard and sometimes unbearable for those who worked for a living.

Not many jobs were available for young women, who often turned to prostitution to keep food on their tables. Becoming a wealthy man's mistress was a goal sought by many. We meet the young child Jialing in 1908. Her mother leaves their home where the mother works not as a maid, but more like a slave - promising to come back soon. That is the last Jialing sees of her. She spends almost the rest of her life trying to find her mother aided at times by Fox, an animal spirit who has existed for at least three centuries.

Fox is waiting for the Great Portal to open so he can join the immortals that live on the other side of the portal. Jialing is considered a bond servant, which means she can buy herself out of the bond contract. But where is she to get the money to do so? Murder, jealousy, forbidden love, political intrigue all play a part in Jialing's life.

Apart from a marvelous plot and characters that play their parts so well, the depiction of Jialing's surroundings is spot on. Janie Chang paints word pictures that add so much to the tale she tells. Dragon Springs Road is a lovely book.

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