Lofthouse blends the history of Robert Hart, an Irish-born British consular official, who in an effort to 'think like the Chinese' learns the language and eventually takes on concubines in his household. The author captures what life was like then through graphic imagery and shows how little women were thought of in that period of time. His love for Ayaou, his first concubine, and her sister Shao-mei, have a profound effect on him. And because of his desire to learn about the Chinese culture and truly understanding it, he ends up rising through the ranks in Chinese government.
In the book, Robert Hart grew up in Ireland as a strict Wesleyan and becomes a disgrace to his family; because of his sexual exploits in college he ended up getting syphilis. He leaves for China working as a British liaison to the consulate and discovers foreigners treat the country and its people with no respect and learn that money buys just about anything, including influence, power, and young women that the Chinese people seemingly throw at their feet. Once Hart discovers he is in love with Ayaou, he begins to change that mindset earning him honors throughout his career and later in life from many different countries.
But, this book isn't simply a love story set in the mid 1800's, it is a tale of Chinese people doing more harm to its people, one of money buying Chinese young women (and young girls just barely reaching puberty) to men for pleasure, of violent revenge and murder, and the subtle nuances of political life where one wrong word can make a man lose face and destroy a career. He learns to love a country as well as its people.
Lloyd Lofthouse is conducting a giveaway for his new book. Enter below, and the book will ship directly from him. He will send one copy (paperback or kindle) of The Concubine Saga to the winner. This is open internationally, however, those living outside the U.S. will receive the Kindle version (eBook). Winner will be chosen by random. Fill out the form below. Good luck!
The Giveaway has ended and a winner has been notified. Thanks to all who participated!
- The Concubine Saga; by Lloyd Lofthouse
- ISBN13: 9780981955384
- Softcover, 547 pages; Kindle version available
- Read the book's first chapter, via Lloyd Lofthouse's blog
Disclosure: This book was provided to me from the author and any opinions are my own.