[Book Review] The Mandarin Seed by Olga Swan

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By Olga Swan

Set in 1930s Vienna, no one wants to believe the horrors of war will cross the Austrian boarder. But with the terrors of the Nazis increasing, Eva and Michael, along with showgirl, Marta, needing to find a way out. As the situation continues to grow increasingly desperate, planning their escape becomes increasingly difficult, until they encounter a Chinese gentleman who assists them in securing visas to Shanghai.

Swan crafts a beautifully story of love, loss, and survival. The two key characters, Marta and Eva couldn’t be more different. Marta being accustomed to the glare of the spotlight and appearing self-assured. And Eva, far more reserved and shy, struggling with the separation from her boyfriend Michael, who is left behind in Vienna. This creates an interesting conflict within a conflict to the story.

Jewish immigration to Asia, seeking freedom and safety from the turmoil and Antisemitism of Europe is an under told aspect of Jewish history. This story helps to shed further light on this path many took in their journey to flee oppression, violence, and tyranny.

The Mandarin Seed is an engaging story of hope. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Olga Swan

For many years Olga lived in France, where she wrote her best-selling Pensioners in Paradis and Vichyssoise. B.A. Hons. (Open) in the Humanities, specialising in English language and literature.

Blog: olgaswan.blogspot.com

Twitter: @olgaolgaswan

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