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When We Were Orphans: A Novel
ISBN 0375724400 / 9780375724404 / 0-375-72440-0
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Renowned London detective, Christopher Banks was born in Shanghai at the beginning of the twentieth century, and lived there relatively happyily until he was orphaned by the disappearances of his father and mother. Now, more than twenty years after leaving Shanghai, he is a celebrated figure in London society; yet the criminal expertise that has given him fame has done little to illuminate his understanding of the circumstances of his parent's alleged kidnappings. Banks travels back to the seeting, labyrinthine city of his memory in hopes of recovering all he has lost, only to find that the Sino-Japanese war is ravaging Shanghai beyond recognition-and that his own recollections are proving as difficult to trust as the people around him. Masterfully suspenful and psychologically acute, this novel offers a profound mediation on the shifting quality of memory, and the possibility of avenging one's past. [via]