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In her mid-twenties, rudderless and unsure, Michelle moved into her step- great-grandmother Shan-Yi’s Sydney apartment just after her passing. Shan-Yi had been part of Michelle’s family since long before she was born and staying at the glamourous art deco apartment was meant to help Michelle back on her feet.
While there, Michelle found an extraordinary trove of letters, diaries and papers that told of her great-grandmother’s unique life – one of adventure and heartache, trans-Atlantic travel and espionage. Born in China, Shan-Yi moved to America with her family aged four and ran away to Canton at sixteen with the help of a businessman and music connoisseur, Warsing Fuh. So began Shan-Yi’s extraordinary globe-trotting twenties before she settled in Sydney with a German man – at the start of World War II – only he wasn’t what he seemed.
Meticulously researched and told with great heart, this is the story of an unparalleled life and the inspiration it afforded her step-great-grandaughter – exactly when she needed it the most.
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