Please note: In order to keep Hive up to date and provide users with the best features, we are no longer able to fully support Internet Explorer. The site is still available to you, however some sections of the site may appear broken. We would encourage you to move to a more modern browser like Firefox, Edge or Chrome in order to experience the site fully.

The Lives Before Us, EPUB eBook

The Lives Before Us EPUB


Please note: eBooks can only be purchased with a UK issued credit card and all our eBooks (ePub and PDF) are DRM protected.


"I wasn't sure I liked the sound of it. Even my vivid imagination could hardly fathom a place as tight, or dense, or narrow as Shanghai."

It's April 1939 and, with their lives in Berlin and Vienna under threat, Esther and Kitty – two very different women – are forced to make the same brutal choice. Flee Europe, or face the ghetto, incarceration, death.

Shanghai, they've heard, Shanghai is a haven Рand so they secure passage to the other side of the world. What they find is a city of extremes Рwealth, poverty, decadence and disease Рand of deep political instability. Kitty has been lured there with promises of luxury, love, marriage Рbut when her Russian fianc̩ reveals his hand she's left to scratch a vulnerable living in Shanghai's nightclubs and dark corners. Meanwhile, Esther and her little girl take shelter in a house of widows until the protection of Aaron, Esther's hot-headed former lover, offers new hope of survival.

Then the Japanese military enters the fray and violence mounts. As Kitty's dreams of escape are dashed, and Esther's relationship becomes tainted, the two women are thrown together in the city's most desperate times. Together they must fight for a future for the lives that will follow theirs.

A sweeping story of survival, community and friendship in defiance of the worst threat to humanity the world has ever faced. From the author of the extraordinary The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days, The Lives Before Us will particularly resonate with readers of Jeremy Dronfield (The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz), Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See), Heather Morris (The Tattooist of Auschwitz), and Costa-winner Bart van Es (The Cut Out Girl).


'Juliet Conlin vividdly recreates the lost world of wartime Shanghai's Jewish ghetto – a place of hope and despair in equal measure; a city of temporary refuge, yet continuing daily struggle. I was absorbed.'– PAUL FRENCH, 'Shanghai's champion storyteller' and author of City of Devils

'The Lives Before Us opens up a captivating new world in a war I thought I knew about, a raucous Casablanca transposed to the East, filled with the intrigues of outcasts and determined survivors.' – ALEX CHRISTOFI, author of Glass

'Juliet Conlin brings wartime Shanghai to vividly to life with a wealth of fascinating detail.' – SARA SHERIDAN, author of The Ice Maiden

'Chronicles the courage and endurance of two women in wartime Shanghai, separated, then reunited, in a dangerous and desperate place. Strongly drawn characters quickly demand attention, and empathy, and their compelling story charts a little known aspect of the Second World War, and of a persecution felt far beyond Europe.' – SARAH MAINE, author of The House Between Tides


Other Formats