Lost in China: A Memoir of World War II (Paperback)
Selected as one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Indie Books of 2022.
Winner of 2023 Feathered Quill Book Award for Memoir/Biography.
Winner of Memphis Public Libraries' 2022 Richard Wright Literary Award for Adult Nonfiction.
It's November 1941. Siblings Jennifer and John, ages seven and five, huddle in a cement culvert near Kunming, China, while Japanese Zeros fly overhead. Jennifer pretends to ignore the screech of gunfire. Where are Daddy and Mummy? she thinks.
Lost in China is the true story of two Anglo-American children separated from their parents in China during World War II, and their unforgettable journey to America a year later. The Dobbs family lived in Shanghai in the late 1930s, where the children spoke Mandarin and Jennifer rode to school in a rickshaw. As war progresses, the family travels to heavily bombed Chungking, through mountains harboring bandits, and on the dangerous Burma Road. When their mother and father fly to Hong Kong on a short trip and get caught up in the Japanese attack, the Dobbs children are left parentless, with no idea when their parents will return-or if they are even still alive.
For a year, the children remain in Western China, and the two are separated when John is taken to stay with another family, where he survives a near-drowning incident. Finally, after spending a month traveling three-quarters of the way around the world via the US military's World War II ferry routes, they reunite with their mother in a rain-swept, deserted airfield in Washington, DC-and face a shocking discovery about their father. Lost in China is both a riveting firsthand account of a family broken apart in World War II China and a daughter's tribute to her beloved father.