Waiting On Wednesday (129) @JanieChang33 @WmMorrowBooks

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event that
spotlights upcoming releases that I’m really
looking forward to. Waiting On Wednesday
is the creation of Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

The Library of Legends
Janie Chang
William Morrow Paperbacks, May 2020
Historical Fiction, Mystery

From the publisher—

“Myths are the darkest and brightest incarnations of who we are…”

China, 1937: When Japanese bombs begin falling on the city of Nanking, nineteen-year-old Hu Lian and her classmates at Minghua University are ordered to flee. Lian and a convoy of more than a hundred students, faculty, and staff must walk a thousand miles to the safety of China’s western provinces, a journey marred by hunger, cold, and the constant threat of aerial attack. And it is not just the student refugees who are at risk: Lian and her classmates have been entrusted with a priceless treasure, a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as the Library of Legends.

Her family’s past has made Lian wary of forming attachments, but the students’ common duty to safeguard the Library of Legends forms unexpected bonds. Lian finds friendship and a cautious romance with the handsome and wealthy Liu Shaoming. But after one classmate is murdered and another arrested, Lian realizes she must escape from the convoy before a family secret puts her in danger. Accompanied by Shao and the enigmatic maidservant Sparrow, Lian makes her way to Shanghai, hoping to reunite with her mother.

On the journey, Lian learns of the connection between her two companions and a tale from the Library of Legends, The Willow Star and the Prince. Learning Shao and Sparrow’s true identities compels Lian to confront her feelings for Shao. But there are broader consequences too, for as the ancient books travel across China, they awaken immortals and guardian spirits to embark on an exodus of their own, one that changes the country’s fate forever.

Based on true events, rich in Chinese history and lore, The Library of Legends is both an illuminating exploration of China’s recent past and an evocative tale of love, sacrifice, and the extraordinary power of storytelling.

Why am I waiting so eagerly? In today’s COVID-19 climate when more than a few ignorant people are calling out and discriminating against the Chinese, I feel compelled to support them and one way to do it is to learn a little more than I already know about this society. My knowledge isn’t vast but there’s no doubt the people are grounded in a very rich history intertwined with myth and mystique. This fictional account of a time that’s not so far in the past seems like a marvelous way to learn and to enjoy a terrific story. I’m also struck by the beauty of the cover and very curious about the significance, if any, of the red umbrella on all three of Ms. Chang’s novels.

Note: Ms. Chang’s blog — https://janiechang.com/blog/ — contains some mesmerizing stories from her own family history and I highly recommend it to everyone.