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A captivating and compelling read from start to finish

A review for 'Battling the Wind and Waves on the Sea of Commerce', by Diana Chierchia

Having devoured books one and two, I was full of great expectation for the third novel in this trilogy and waited with huge anticipation for its release. With a third novel, as with a second, it is a challenge to be as good as the sequel and prequel. However, I was not disappointed.

The prologue was a helpful summary of the previous two books and, within a few pages, I was back with the characters - living their lives alongside them. John’s talent is to skilfully and subtly blend historical facts and events with the characters’ lives and loves – making every page compelling. The descriptions are so detailed that events are brought to life and, as you read, you are living the characters’ journeys with them as though you are actually in China.

Throughout the book, I felt part of the characters’ lives whilst learning about China’s colourful and interesting history. The twists and turns in the plot kept me hooked; I just wanted to keep on reading and I was upset when I got to the end! An incredibly captivating read - I cannot recommend this book, and books one and two, highly enough. Thank you, John, for taking me on a wonderful journey of China’s past through the lives of your intriguing and fascinating characters.

Comment on second book


An intriguing book with an enchanting setting. I would read more from this author. An escape from the everyday in an easy-to-read style.

Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/238248/review/613047

Comment on my second book

A review for 'FLOATING AND SINKING ON THE SEA OF OFFICIALDOM', by Yvonne on 10 October 2021 , Troubador Publishing bookshop

An engaging and gripping read!

This second volume of the trilogy is written in simple, easy to read English. In particular for non-Chinese or overseas Chinese, this makes understanding the historical events in this important period of modern China a lot easier. This was the time after the Cultural Revolution, a social political movement from 1966 through 1976.

The enchanting love story went on. The novel is in simple English, yet it is beautifully written and is with a wide vocabulary, making the read inspirational, enjoyable and impelling. The love story was as complex as its historical background; it was a triangle love with three very open-minded, selfless, deep affection, loyal, and kind hearted souls. It is a wonder to see these three individuals being so very thoughtful towards each other, always thinking for the benefit of the other two.

It is a book one wants to go on reading, and does not want to put down. I was totally absorbed, and was eager to learn what would be next for the main character and the people around him, and the economic and political development in China at the time. A great number of characters are involved, the List of Characters at the beginning of the book is of great help.

A very compelling Chinese historical novel with a gripping love story! I enjoyed the reading, and have kept thinking about it afterwards. An artwork provokes thoughts. I hope the third volume will not take long to publish!

Feedback to Sailing across the Red Storm

A review for 'SAILING ACROSS THE RED STORM', by Diana from Amazon

One of the best books I have read in a long time!
This is one of the best books that I have read in a very long time! The author cleverly succeeds in the finding the perfect balance between informing the reader about the Chinese Cultural Revolution but without making it too 'heavy' or tricky to plough through. The level of detail and rich character development are excellent; it was difficult to put the book down! I loved the historical details, which opened by eyes, combined with the relationship themes running throughout the book. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. My family members are now reading it too.

comment on my first book, Sailing across the Red Storm

A review for 'SAILING ACROSS THE RED STORM', by Barnes and Noble.com The largest on line bookshop in USA

A historical novel with a moving romance and more. Do not recall having come around to read a novel of romance since my teens. One with the Cultural Revolution background (1966 - 1976) makes the novel so much more interesting and worth reading, The reading brings back fond memories. The love story is beautiful, beautiful, it is an enchanting subtlety. The two lovers have been giving to each other from beginning to end, love of the two can stand the test of time but not the deep rooted traditions and culture. This is unlike the father and daughters in the Fiddler on the Roof musical which sets the stage in Russia around 1905, and wherein the father finally giving blessings to his two daughters who flouted tradition making their own marriage match. The settings were in different places, and it was 60 years apart, yet it still occurs to me most Chinese are still more traditional to our culture than others. Well, there is no right or wrong. The use of English is superb, and the vocabulary extensive. It is not always an easy job to write Chinese traditions in English, there are times when it is truly difficult to explain the culture when there can be no equivalent elsewhere. This is certainly not a problem with the author. The novel ends where it should, but as a reader, I somehow ironically wish it could go on.