Golden Inches: The China Memoir of Grace Service

Grace Service, Author University of California Press $0 (346p) ISBN 978-0-520-06656-4
In 1905 Grace Service and her YMCA missionary husband Bob set sail from California on the Mongolia bound for Shanghai. In this simple, unpretentious memoir, depicting the sights, sounds and landscapes of a bygone China, she records their trip up the Yangtze on houseboat, th e n by pole-mounted sedan chair to China's far western region. Her infant daughter's death made the journey a tragic one, but over the next 30 years in China, the Services raised three sons and had adventures criss-crossing the country. The author's brief firsthand impressions of the anti-Manchurian revolution of 1911, the Japanese invasion in the 1930s and other political events are amplified by her son John in footnotes. Atmospheric snapshots are interwoven with the text. In 1934-1935, Bob lost his YMCA job and the family's savings vanished overnight in the Shanghai financial collapse. Broken in spirit, Bob fell ill and died, and his wife eventually settled in California. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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