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August 30, 2017

Review: Red Year by Jan Shapin #TLCBookTours #RedYear

by Susan Roberts

This is a very well researched novel about a little-known character who was a significant person in the Communist Party in the 1920s despite her growing up in American.  It's very enjoyable and well-written and a chance to learn about a little-known person in history.

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About the Book

Red Year
June 2017; Cambridge Books; 978-1613864029
ebook, print (286 pages); historical
Can a red-haired woman from Chicago single-handedly force Joseph Stalin to back down?

China, 1927. Thirty-three-year-old Rayna Prohme, accompanying her left-wing journalist husband, becomes the political confidante and lover of Mikhail Borodin, the Russian commander sent to prop up a failing Chinese revolution. In a bid to continue their love affair, Rayna hatches a plan to accompany Mme. Sun, the widow of the Chinese revolution’s founder, to Moscow. But Moscow doesn’t welcome the women. Borodin shuns them. Rayna’s stipend and her housing arrangements are cancelled. “Go home,” she is told.

But Rayna does not want to go home to an ordinary life, to her husband and Chicago. Instead, she applies to a Soviet-espionage school that soon demands she spy on Mme. Sun. The Chinese widow is, by now, in grave danger as her exit visa is blocked. Rayna must make a choice — Borodin and Russia or Mme. Sun and China.

Buy Red Year at Amazon

About the Author

Jan Shapin is the author of three novels as well as several plays and screenplays. She has attended Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Sewanee Writers' Conference, The Film and Television Workshop as well as various other writing programs. She lives in Rhode Island with her photographer husband. You can reach her at, through her publisher, Write Words. Inc., or email her at jshapin.writer@gmail,.com

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends.  She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter.

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  1. Thank you, Susan, for your upbeat review of Red Year. I appreciate that you are a prolific reviewer on Goodreads. I have a giveaway for Red Year that closes in November and hopefully your many followers will enter. They can read chapter one on my website,

    Thanks again,

    Jan Shapin