This evocative memoir, steeped in sensory detail, recreates the ambience of the author´s North China home rather than giving a straightforward account of her 18 years there. The child of Jewish refugees from the Russian Revolution, Maynard may have been born in China, but she never for a moment considered herself Chinese. Like other Europeans in the bustling trading city, she didn´t learn the language and never spoke to the Chinese servants except to issue instructions. She spent her youth in one of the ´´concessions´´ carved out by the various European communities, completely cut off from the desperately poor Chinese part of the town. There the sheltered, dreamy child took piano lessons, wrote in her diary, shared her home with relatives and displaced Jews and participated in her parents´ denial of unpleasantness. The Jewish populace endured the Japanese occupation, but ran from the oncoming Communists. The author´s intimate and powerful voice offers an absorbing glimpse into the consciousness of a young girl as well as into one of the many insulated, self-sufficient Jewish communities that existed around the world.