Emily Madison, young and newly wed, leaves the pleasant, secure environment of a small west coast college town in 1923 to embark on a journey that eventually takes her around the world and that will impact her throughout her life.
From an idyllic visit to Honolulu to despair aboard ship in the mid-Pacific Ocean to a natural disaster in Japan before she even arrives in Canton, China, Emily wrestles with questions of faith, tolerance and demands of family against the backdrop of a confusing culture, international and local tensions and her own personal choices.
From warring factions fighting for control of China, through years of Japanese occupation in China, until her return to the United States aboard an evacuation ship, Emily cherishes the joy of all children and the age-old magnificence of her adopted homeland contrasted with such enigmas as the celebration of the Chinese New Year and a pilgrimage to a monastery.
With inspiration from an eighty-year-old set of family letters, the author has written a historical novel that brings to life the period after one world war and into the second. Letters from Canton is the journey of a woman for whom the reader will be a welcome and willing companion.