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Summary

In the tradition of Paullina Simons comes an unforgettable story of a mother and daughter from a remarkable new writer. Beginning in a small village under Japanese occupation on the Chinese-Russian border in the final days of World War II, White Gardenia tells the story of a Russian mother and daughter separated by war. From the glamorous nightclubs of Shanghai to the harshness of the Siberian wasteland, from a desolate island in the South China Sea and to a new life in post-war Australia, and finally to Cold War Moscow, White Gardenia sweeps across cultures and continents.
©2002 Belinda Alexandra (P)2003 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"Deidre Rubenstein's well-modulated contralto voice brings empathy and compassion to Alexandra's first novel....Powerful dramatization." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great portrayal of Oz post-war emigrant view

Love this author but found her Russian heroine harder to identify with than her other book's main characters -- put it down to the character's Russian emotionalism - she seemed to cry at the drop of a hat. Absolutely loved her description of post-war immigration to Australia... as someone who emigrated in early '70's to Oz, four or five decades on from the story, found that little had changed in the welcome anyone from 'outside' Australia received. But like the main character, found so so much to love about the country.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paddington
  • 30-08-11

Fascinating novel

This is my third Belinda Alexandra book and I was not disappointed. This story is a marvellous blend of Russian Chinese history ending up with the characters as post war refugees in Australia. It is set in the time period of pre WW2 through to post WW2.
As with Alexandra’s other novels it is well researched and beautifully written. Again we see a central female character who experiences dreadful events and disappointments based on historical facts and real life stories but who comes through with great strength of character. I could not put it down and was sorry when it finished. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan Buckley
  • 26-02-11

Very Enjoyable

This is the first Belinda Alexander book that I have read. The story is great and I could not put it down.
The narrater was very good. I was very sorry to get to the end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • karen
  • 15-08-18

Random music breaks very annoying

Random music breaks were horribly distracting and took away greatly from the story. Not sure what they marked but were very annoying. Readers/listeners just want story to flow. Story was ok, but breaks greatly ruined it.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara E Broussard
  • 17-07-18

Couldn't Finish It

I loved Belinda Alexandra's Tucsan Rose, so I thought I would like White Gardenia also. I was totally wrong. I liked Tuscan Rose for it's historical interest, creative plot, and the strength of the main character.

I'm about 1/3 of the way through White Gardenia and I'm calling it quits. I have an extreme dislike for romance novels and that's exactly what this feels like. So far the plot has been predictable. The main character is whinny and naive and I really could care less if she lives or dies. The book would have been much more interesting if it had followed the Mother's life instead.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • DrGrien
  • 29-03-18

GREAT

Belinda Alexandra has never failed to write an outstanding novel. this one, too, doesn't disappoint.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-10-17

Wonderful!

One of the best researched, best story and best narrated book I have ever bought.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mel
  • 19-08-17

Sad

I returned it because it was too gory and sad. Too slow moving for me. I wanted to like it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • marina lerner
  • 06-01-17

horrible music accompaniment

music accompaniment completely out of place, unpleasant and disruptive. at the end you cannot hear the narrator because music is too loud.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MrsAllister
  • 04-07-16

Thoroughly enjoyed **CONTAINS SPOILERS**

Would you listen to White Gardenia again? Why?

I probably wouldn't listen to White Gardenia again. The story was so heavy with details, it's difficult to forget the plot line and the things that happened.

What was one of the most memorable moments of White Gardenia?

There were several memorable moments, but the most memorable was actually when her husband left her, the SECOND time. I was actually blown away!! When it was about to happen, I remember thinking, 'he didn't leave her again...noooooo.' And then he did!!!!

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was when Anya and Demitri learned to dance together. It was beautifully written, and I actually looked up on YouTube to see the actual dance since I couldn't picture it completely in my head.

Who was the most memorable character of White Gardenia and why?

I don't if there was a more memorable character than Anya herself.

Any additional comments?

I would definitely recommend this book. It doesn't always go in the direction you think it's going to, which is what one wants out of a book. I would say to be prepared to go on Anya's emotional roller coaster. She experiences many tragic and terrible things, and doesn't learn to cope with them in a healthy way, which explains her odd behavior in certain situations.

~Review written by Ray's Wife :)

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • K
  • 24-04-16

Good story, annoying recording breaks

I enjoyed the story, and hearing more about the Australian-Russian connection. Unfortunately the recording is broken into hour long 'chapters' instead of the written chapter breaks. Each hour long 'chapter' has a musical fade out which disrupts the narration and flow of the book, very poorly done and creates a break in the flow.