The Courtesan by Alexandra CurryThe Courtesan by Alexandra Curry

The Courtesan

byAlexandra CurryRead byEmily Woo Zeller

Audio Book (CD) | September 8, 2015

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An astonishing debut novel inspired by the life of the legendary Qing dynasty courtesan, Sai Jinhua. The year is 1881, the era of Chinas humiliation at the hands of imperialist Europe. Seven-year-old Jinhua is left alone and unprotected, her life transformed after her mandarin fathers summary execution for the crime of speaking the truth. As an orphan, she endures the brutal logic of a brothel-keeper, who puts her to work as a so-called money tree, and she survives the worst of human nature with the friendship and wisdom of the crippled brothel maid. When an elegant but troubled scholar takes Jinhua as his concubine, she leaves both the trauma of brothel life and the comfort of friendship behind and encounters for the first time the tantalizing and elusive notion of “Great Love. She travels with her emissary husband to Europe and discovers there the mesmerizing strangeness, irresistible sensualities, and exotic possibilities of fin de si egravec le Vienna, while struggling against the constraints of tradition and her husbands wishes. Sai Jinhua is an altered woman when she returns to a changed and changing China, where a terrible clash of East and West is brewing, and where her western sympathies will ultimately threaten not only her own survival but the survival of those who are most dear to her. The Courtesan is a timeless tale of friendship and sacrifice, temptation and redemption; the story of a woman's journey to discern what is real and abiding, and a book that shines a small light on the large history of China's relations with the West.
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Title:The CourtesanFormat:Audio Book (CD)Dimensions:5.5 × 5.88 × 1 inPublished:September 8, 2015Publisher:Highbridge CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1622319605

ISBN - 13:9781622319602

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Couresan I adored this story. I'm not sure how historically accurate it is, but I found the story to be engaging and very interesting. I spent a lot of time googling various things and people depicted. This is on far with something like Memoirs of a Geisha.
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unputdownabble! An engaging read
Date published: 2015-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I LOVED IT!!! Wow! What an impressive first novel! Well done Alexandra Curry! This tale is a delightful mixture of rich historical fiction and great story telling. Throughout Chinese History there are many variations of the life of Sai Jinhua, the infamous concubine who may or may not have influenced Count Alfred Von Walderesee when he came to Peking after the Boxer Rebellion. In Ms. Curry's retelling, we meet Sai Jinhua as a vulnerable, grief stricken seven year old, sold by her step mother to a human trafficker who quickly resells her to a brothel. Sai Jinhua experiences things that we cannot even imagine and uses her intelligence to endure seemingly impossible conditions. This is a story of great resilience, friendship, deep sorrow and ultimately survival. I had a hard time putting this book down and an even harder time getting it out of my head.
Date published: 2015-11-21