That night I dreamed that I had wandered out to Dragon Springs Road all on my own, when a dreadful knowledge seized me that my mother had gone away never to return . . .
In 1908, Jialing is only seven years old when she finds herself abandoned in the courtyard of a once-lavish estate near Shanghai. Jialing is zazhong—Eurasian—and faces a lifetime of contempt from both Chinese and Europeans. Without her mother’s protection, she can survive only if the estate’s new owners, the Yang family, agree to take her in.
Jialing's allies are Anjuin, the eldest Yang daughter, and Fox, an animal spirit who has lived in the haunted courtyard for centuries. But Jialing’s life as the Yangs’ bondservant changes unexpectedly when she befriends a young English girl who then mysteriously vanishes.
Always hopeful of reuniting with her long-lost mother, Jialing grows into womanhood during the tumultuous early years of the Chinese republic, guided by Fox and by her own strength of spirit, away from the shadows of her past. But then she is drawn into a murder at the periphery of political intrigue, a relationship that jeopardizes her friendship with Anjuin and a forbidden affair that brings danger to the man she loves.
“Janie Chang has a keen eye for detail and infuses them throughout this magical story, with its masterfully rendered setting of the early Chinese republic, characters who bring to life the constrictions of those girls, and a mystical benevolent spirit. The result is enchanting.”
- Shilpi Somaya Gowda, bestselling author of Secret Daughter, The Golden Son
"Who can resist a child in jeopardy novel especially one set against the rich background of Shanghai at the turn of the century? A young Eurasian outcast, Jialing must survive by her wits and the uncertain kindness of strangers. But will this be enough? Dragon Springs Road with its illuminating and vivid details about an engrossing period of history- the Chinese Republic in its infancy, is an involving, sympathetic novel, which exemplifies the best of historical fiction."
- Roberta Rich, bestselling author of The Midwife of Venice, The Harem Midwife
“Dragon Springs Road is simply one of the best novels I have read in a long time. With her lyrical, heartfelt portrait of a vanished world, and her creation of a heroine whose struggles and victories tore at my heart, Janie Chang has created an enchanting and unforgettable book. I recommend it unreservedly.” -
- Jennifer Robson bestselling author of Somewhere in France, Moonlight Over Paris
"As a big fan of Janie Chang's debut novel, Three Souls, I picked up Dragon Springs Road with keen anticipation -- and couldn't put it down. Rooted in the cultural upheavals of early twentieth-century Shanghai, the story offers a rich juxtaposition of worlds: the old and the new, the quotidian and the magical, the intimate and the epic. It's immersive, vivid, enchanting, and achingly human."
- Ian Weir, playwright, screenwriter and critically-acclaimed author of Will Starling
POPSUGAR named Dragon Springs Road a "TOP WINTER READ”
CBC BOOKS put Dragon Springs Road on its list of "5 Books to Read in January"
TORONTO STAR 1.22.17 - "Filled with enchantment and intrigue, this novel shines brightly"
THE HUFFINGTON POST Review 1.10.17 - “beautifully told…fascinating…a great choice for a book club.”
THE SACRAMENTO BEE spotlights the book in their Cultural Books Roundup
BOOK PAGE includes it in a What We’re Reading FEATURE - "Readers looking for a world to get lost in will find it" in Dragon Springs Road.
READER TO READER Review - “…you will definitely fall under the spell of this…mesmerizing novel.”
RT ****FOUR STAR Review - “Lyrical and magical…Chang’s lovingly crafted novel will resonate with readers long after the story is done.”
BOOKLIST says - "Chang unfurls this intriguing story—set against the chaotic backdrop of China in the early twentieth century—with precision. Rich with detail and a fascinating interplay between the spiritual and earthly realms, Chang’s second novel explores whether it is possible to overcome your past."