All the Flowers in Shanghai

By Duncan Jepson
(William Morrow & Company, Paperback, 9780062081605, 320pp.)

Publication Date: December 2011

List Price: $14.99*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the January 2012 Indie Next List
“Devotion to the first child is a thousand-year-old tradition in China. As the second child, Xiao Feng received less love and attention than her older sister. When her sister dies just prior to being married to a man who repulsed her, Feng becomes the substitute, with duty taking precedence over personal desires. Her duty now means bearing a male heir and being forced to endure painful nightly visits from her unloved husband. Feng, once an innocent, tender, dreaming young girl, is turned into a hard and cruel young woman who makes heart-rending choices that will haunt and scar her forever. A story both poignant and powerful.”
-- Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI


For every young Chinese woman in 1930s Shanghai, following the path of duty takes precedence over personal desires

For Feng, that means becoming the bride of a wealthy businessman in a marriage arranged by her parents. In the enclosed world of the Sang household--a place of public ceremony and private cruelty--fulfilling her duty means bearing a male heir.

The life that has been forced on her makes Feng bitter and resentful, and she plots a terrible revenge. But with the passing years comes a reckoning, and Feng must reconcile herself with the sacrifices and terrible choices she has made in order to assure her place in the family and society--even as the violent, relentless tide of revolution engulfs her country.

Both a sweeping historical novel and an intimate portrait of one woman's struggle against tradition, All the Flowers in Shanghai marks the debut of a sensitive and revelatory writer.

About the Author
Duncan Jepson is the award-winning director and producer of five feature films. He has also produced documentaries for Discovery Channel Asia and National Geographic Channel. He was the editor of the Asia-based fashion magazine West East and is a founder and managing editor of the Asia Literary Review. A lawyer by profession, he lives in Hong Kong.

Conversation Starters from


  1. What is Feng’s relationship like with her parents compared to her grandfather? What important lessons does her grandfather teach her?

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