Don't forget to drop by Bibliophile By the Sea to read Diane's selection this week and be sure to visit and read the contributions of other participants in this terrific meme!
All the Flowers in Shanghai by Duncan Jepson
I still know your face. I see it clearly as it was at the very beginning, not how it was left after I had hurt you.What are your thoughts about these opening paragraphs? Would you read this book based on these paragraphs?
I did not see the brightness of new life in your eyes when you were born or cradle your warm fleshy body to my chest, and wish now that I had. I wish I had just looked… but I did not let myself because to me you were still-born. You were not a living person to me then, but an object of hatred, created merely to be beaten and scarred.
When I think back through the tiredness and hunger we have endured for years now, searching through the pages of my memory that still serve me faithfully, I know I saw your lovely face when I was a young girl. It was in 1932 while I was out walking with Grandfather in those public gardens adjacent to our house, now forgotten and laid waste like the rest of Shanghai. I am certain now that I have always known and loved your face, it was only terror and pain that held me back from you. But all that I suffered then seems nothing compared to the suffering now being inflicted across this country and I know that I should never have let anything stop me from loving you. I wish that all those years ago I’d had the courage just to look at you, to feel the need and unconditional love in your fragile little body.