Monday, July 9, 2012
Midnight in Peking by Paul French
31. Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China
by Paul French
sixth book for the Dewey Decimal Challenge 2012
You may have come upon those markers on roadsides which pay tribute to someone who has died there. I usually see a cross, and flowers in season. Unconsciously, I put my hand to my heart, and feel such sadness for the person's family and friends, the ones who put up the memorial.
Well, this book feels like one of those markers. The author didn't know the young woman who died, but with this book he is memorializing her. Before Midnight in Peking, there weren't many people who had been thinking about Pamela Werner since she was murdered in January 1937. Now that has been remedied. Now we know, we remember, we care. That's just what the author set out to do.
I first heard of the book on the Diane Rehm show in April, a show you may listen to here. I went right to Barnes & Noble online and ordered it. This is an exceptional story, told in an interesting, most engaging way. It isn't an easy book to read, but it is excellent nonetheless. I can't praise it highly enough.
I came upon this video on the website for the book. How wonderful that we can hear the author tell of his book while walking in the very area where it took place.