A Novel of Struggle and Survival, From the WWII Jewish Ghetto in Shanghai to the Next Generation in America
A Little-Known Chapter of the Nazi Era
As time ran out for Jews fleeing Hitler, nearly 20,000 sought safety in the
only place left in the world that would take them without a visa: Shanghai.
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Shanghai Legacy by Marion Cuba, a novel of historical fiction, chronicles this pocket of time, 1938-1945. Based on years of research, this is the story of the Jewish Refugee Community in Shanghai: how they lived, loved, suffered and struggled—but ultimately survived under the Japanese occupation. It is also an imagined mother-daughter drama exploring how a survivor’s secret hardships can affect—and afflict—the next generation.
In life refugee Hannah was a stern—even cruel—enigma to her daughter, Maya. But when Hannah dies, a German diary turns up revealing a wholly different picture. This seemingly cold matriarch, when still in her teens, was thrust into brutal maturity where she made courageous choices and sacrifices.
Now begins an emotional odyssey that forces Maya to re-examine her own complacent life—her lonely marriage, neglected career, and forgotten dreams. She has choices Hannah never had. Is she daring enough to reach for them?
A Reading Guide at the back of the book provides discussion questions for this lesser-known, extraordinary chapter of the Holocaust.