Flashback Friday: The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd

It’s time, once again, for Flashback Friday…

Flashback Fridays is a chance to dig deep in the darkest nooks of our bookshelves and pull out the good stuff from way back. As a reader, a blogger, and a consumer, I tend to focus on new, new, new… but what about the old favorites, the hidden gems? On Flashback Fridays, I want to hit the pause button for a moment and concentrate on older books that are deserving of attention.

My rules — since I’m making this up:

  1. Has to be something I’ve (you’ve) read myself (yourself) — oh, you know what I mean!
  2. Has to still be available, preferably still in print
  3. Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago

Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!

Add your link below — join in for Flashback Friday!

My pick for this week’s Flashback Friday:

The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd

(published 1997)

A lush, sweeping story, at once historical fiction, an exploration of non-Western culture and mores, and an in-depth journey into a woman’s soul.

From Amazon:

In 1903, a young Scotswoman named Mary Mackenzie sets sail for China to marry her betrothed, a military attache in Peking. But soon after her arrival, Mary falls into an adulterous affair with a young Japanese nobleman, scandalizing the British community. Casting her out of the European community, her compatriots tear her away from her small daughter. A woman abandoned and alone, Mary learns to survive over forty tumultuous years in Asia, including two world wars and the cataclysmic Tokyo earthquake of 1923.

Mary’s story is romantic and heartbreaking, and rings all too true given the historical context. She is scorned by her European compatriots, discarded by both husband and lover, and separated from her children, and has simply nowhere to turn and no one to rely upon except herself. Mary’s journey is full of sorrow, yet ultimately her determination and survival are quite inspiring.

The writing in The Ginger Tree is lovely, and I was amazed by how well a male writer captured a woman’s emotions and inner turmoil in language that felt true and honest. This book is firmly ensconced on my favorites shelf, and I consistently recommend it to friends looking for an engaging, powerful story. If you enjoy historical fiction and strong, intelligent female characters, don’t miss The Ginger Tree.

So, what’s your favorite blast from the past? Leave a tip for your fellow booklovers, and share the wealth. It’s time to dust off our old favorites and get them back into circulation!

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: This is my baby-steps attempt at a blog hop! Join in, post a Friday Flashback on your blog, and share your link below. Let’s get this party started!

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