The Shanghai TunnelBook - 2008
Arriving in Portland, Oregon, from Shanghai in 1868 after the unexpected death of her wealthy husband, Horace, Emily Stratton and her teenage son are confronted by the hostility of her late husband's partners, the strange new world of the Pacific Northwest, and by the secrets of Horace's seedy and painful past. 15,000 first printing.
Portland, 1868. It is a rough hewn place, an exploding trading post that has dreams of becoming a metropolis.
Horace Stratton, one of Portland's wealthiest heirs, has decided to come home for good after amassing yet another fortune in Shanghai. With him comes his wife Emily, a shy daughter of missionaries, and their teenaged son. On the brink of that happy return, Horace suddenly falls ill and dies in San Francisco.
Emily and her son bring her husband home to Portland and they try to settle into this new culture.While they look as if they should belong, Portland is a strange and unsettling place for them.
Emily is guilt-ridden, but sorrow is one of the few emotions she didn’t feel when told of her husband's passing. For Emily had learned more about her husband’s past than anyone would believe. And she discovers that all of his schemes did not die with him.
His partners very much want Emily and her son to go away... by whatever means necessary. Emily will have to delve into her husband's seedy and painful past and set things right so that she can make a life for herself and her son in this strange land.
Blackwell North Amer
Emily Stratton grew up in China with her missionary parents. In many ways, she identifies more with the Chinese people than with other Westerners. After her parents are violently murdered, Emily seeks sanctuary in marriage to Horace Stratton, a shrewd entrepreneur from Portland. She soon discovers that while Horace projects a mask of civility to the outside world, he is a cruel man with abhorrent and vile appetites. The only thing that keeps her from leaving him is their son, whom Emily shields from the truth about his father.
On the eve of his return to Portland, where he intends to enjoy his spoils, Horace dies. Emily and her now-teenage son are alone in a rough-hewn, fast-growing town where men seek profit above all. Emily tries to fit into this unsettling place while she fights for her son's inheritance. Many in the city try to console her, and she does her best to behave like a proper Western widow. She hates living the lie but knows that in order to secure her son's future, she must maintain Horace's reputation.
She soon discovers this might not be possible. Horace's partners in Portland seem to be cut from the same cloth as her departed husband. They very much want Emily and her son to go away... permanently, if necessary. Emily will have to delve deep into her husband's seedy and painful past and set things right so that she can make a life for herself and her son in this strange new world.
Set in 1868 during Portland's rough trading post days, this is the story of Emily Stratton, a newly-arrived widow, who must delve into her husband's seedy and painful past and set things right so that she can make a life for herself and her son in this strange land.