An epic novel of America's forgotten war in China
In a country crippled by Japanese invaders and polarized between Nationalists and Communists, Lieutenant David Parker's penchant for action leaves him frustrated in isolated Chungking. The war is stagnant. Chiang Kai-shek's government is corrupt and unwilling to fight. Only his pursuit of Katherine Payne--a beautiful and elusive British journalist--alleviates the tedium of his days spent behind a desk. So when Parker hears of the Dixie Mission--a group of Americans venturing north to the Communist stronghold of Yenan--he is desperate to join them. Rumors have spread that the Communists are fighting the Japanese with heroic zeal.
Lin Yuen is a reclusive and skilled Communist guerilla leader. He can scarcely hide his annoyance when an American, Lieutenant Parker, is assigned to join his next dangerous mission behind enemy lines. Both men have deeply held, clashing convictions, but the battles they fight, the horrors they witness, and the brotherhood they forge ultimately transform them both.
Then, as the end of World War II forces America to take sides in an impending Nationalist-Communist civil war, David and Yuen find their loyalties tested. Together, they must confront a final trial--one that imperils the honor they cherish and the people they love.
Inspired by the real-life story of America's Dixie Mission to Mao's Chinese Communists, Two Sons of China is a richly detailed historical saga from a forgotten theater of World War II--a tale of passion and betrayal that reveals the strength of two warriors' unbreakable friendship, and the powerful forces that threaten to tear them apart.
From the Author's Website:
In 1945, members of the Dixie Mission joined the Communist guerillas on a mission behind Japanese lines in brutal winter weather. During this dangerous expedition, one American was captured and killed by the Japanese. It was this real-life mission that inspired the author to base this novel on the friendship between an American soldier and a Communist guerilla on patrol from Yenan.From the Question and Answer:
The author hopes this book will shine a light on unsung heroes from the war in China: American servicemen and Foreign Service Officers who served with honor under difficult circumstances in a distant land.
Your two main characters, David and Yuen, are very different from each other. David is enthusiastic but naïve and inexperienced. Yuen is disaffected and sullen. What was your inspiration for each of them?
It was important to me that these two men be as different as possible to better demonstrate the polar opposite worlds they come from. David grew up in China, the son of a missionary, so he speaks Mandarin fluently. He’s young, so he finds the war exciting and he has dreams of medals and glory. I think a lot of young men can identify with this mentality.
Yuen, on the other hand, has already endured two decades of war. His only desire is to accomplish his mission, survive, and keep as many of his men alive as possible. You can imagine why he might initially view David with disdain. For Yuen’s character, I imagined the difficult life of one who had been with the Communists since the beginning—someone who had experienced constant warfare, fear of betrayal, and the feeling of being relentlessly hounded his enemies (in his case, both the Nationalists and the Japanese).More on the Dixie Mission from Wikipedia.
LINKS about the Book and Author:
How Following Your Passions Can Change History: An Interview With Author Andrew Lam, MD:
Asian Books Blog: Two Sons of China: a novel of WWII and America’s forgotten war in China:
Lam's latest novel is WWII story of friendship | Longmeadow NewsLongmeadow News:
IReviews: Two Sons of China by Andrew Lam: