What a misleading title and cover. There aren’t any concubines in the book but that does not make it bad.
The story begins as the Friis family is leaving Russia during the Revolution and their train gets stopped by the Red Army. The family gets separated and the mother and daughter are allowed to continue on the Junchow, China.
Lydia, the daughter, grows up in the Russian Settlement of Junchow with her mother. As White Russians, they are stranded there without passports or money to leave. Her mother, an alcoholic, is not supporting her daughter as she should and Lydia takes to stealing to support her mother. When she is rescued out of a compromising situation on in an alley by a Chinese teenager, her life changes.
I like the history of this book. I have read other novels of lives in rich English Settlements in Shanghai but this book explored those in the seedier European settlements and what was going on China in the 1920s.
The cover and the title annoyed me a little, I will be honest and I might have rated it higher but the annoyance won out. I will read the next book in the series The Girl from Junchow based on the ending that hooked me