I have just finished reading a wonderful book on holiday and thought I would share the details here as I am sure that others interested in all things Chinese would enjoy it. As the blog post suggests it is entitled ‘Stranger in my heart’ and is written by Mary Monro. ISBN 978-1-91158-668-5.
It is a wonderful story of, as it states on the front cover, A daughter’s quest to discover the lost world of her father.
Claire originally discovered this book at our holiday let when we went to Shropshire in the Summer. She said I would enjoy it and so it was waiting for an opportunity which came recently when we went up to the Forest of Bowland.
It resonated with me in a number of ways, not least of all because I had travelled in the footsteps of her father, John Monro, in Hong Kong and it filled in a lot of blanks that I had. One that I was surprised about, when I stayed on Mount Davis in Hong Kong, was what looked like pill boxes on the steep hill sides. They were still there in 2002 but I hadn’t realised they had been there since the Second World War. Probably, down to the inaccessibility of some of the countryside.
Mary Monro writes in a very easy to read way which makes the text come alive. She has obviously carried out a phenomenal amount of background research which provides clear motivations for key moments in 20th Century history as well as linking so well to her family’s history.
There is much to recommend this book and I will leave this post with thanks to Mary Monro for sharing her family with us and the synopsis on the back of the book:
John Monro MC never mentioned his Second World War experiences, leaving his daughter Mary with unresolved mysteries when he died in 1981.
He fought at the battle of Hong Kong, made a daring escape across Japanese-occupied China and became Assistant Military Attache in Chongqing. Caught up in Far East war strategy, he proposed a bold plan to liberate the PoWs he’d left behind before fighting in Burma in 1944. But by the time Mary was born he’d become a Shropshire farmer, revealing nothing of his heroic past.
Thirty years after his death and prompted by hearing him described as a ’20th Century great’, Mary began her quest to explore this stranger she’d called Dad…