Well, oh well. This story offers an intriguing start and gets you hooked up just fine. Valentina and her husband are fleeing war torn Russia to safe their small child Lydia. When their train is stopped by the enemy Valentina's husband is captured and Valentina is enraptured to give some diamonds for her daughter's live. But soon afterwards the story leaves you, not caring a bit about the characters or the plot. Lydia is now sixteen living in a Chinese city with her worthless mother who drinks and smokes all day. Lydia feels enraptured to steal watches, wallets, necklaces or whatever crosses her way. When a young Chinese saves her life a love story begins to unfold. I kept on reading wanting to know when the part about concubines, promised in the title, would reveal itself.
But there never is a part about concubines, let alone a Russian concubine.
I thought this book would be right up my alley, promising a historical fiction set in China during the 1920s with a romance interlaced. Well, unfortunately I couldn't have cared less. I always waited for the story to begin and the characters to reveal their use to the process of the story.
Two lonely stars.