The Bird in the Bamboo Cage

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 20 Aug 2020 | Archive Date 1 Apr 2022


Inspired by true events…

‘Moving and authentic’ Dinah Jefferies
‘Vivid, heart-rending and so, so beautiful’ Jenny Ashcroft
'A beautiful, tender and fascinating story' Sinead Moriarty

‘Deeply moving. Be prepared – have handkerchiefs on standby at the end’ Antonia Senior, The Times
‘An inspiring novel about the power of determination, courage and unity’ Woman’s Own

China, 1941. With Japan’s declaration of war on the Allies, Elspeth Kent’s future changes forever. When soldiers take control of the missionary school where she teaches, comfortable security is replaced by rationing, uncertainty and fear.

Ten-year-old Nancy Plummer has always felt safe at Chefoo School. Now the enemy, separated indefinitely from anxious parents, the children must turn to their teachers – to Miss Keny and her new Girl Guide patrol especially – for help. But worse is to come when the pupils and teachers are sent to a distant internment camp. Unimaginable hardship, impossible choices and danger lie ahead.

Inspired by true events, this is the unforgettable story of the life-changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher, in a remote corner of a terrible war.

Shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards for Popular Fiction Book of the Year
USA Today bestseller

Published in the USA and Canada under the title When We Were Young and Brave.

Inspired by true events…

‘Moving and authentic’ Dinah Jefferies
‘Vivid, heart-rending and so, so beautiful’ Jenny Ashcroft
'A beautiful, tender and fascinating story' Sinead Moriarty


Available Editions

ISBN 9780008393656
PRICE £2.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 72 members

Featured Reviews

Thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review.
Absolutely love this Author's work, and this moving books just shows how sensitive and caring she is I adored this work of art and can highly recommend this book.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for the Arc of this book❤️

Also thank you to Hazel Gaynor for writing this sensational novel ☺️

Follows the Japanese Occupation in World War 2, following a teacher named Elspeth and a student named Nancy. talks about their captivity within this time as well as Interment and then finally the liberation at the end of this book!! Hazel really engaged on what it was like and the living conditions for each settings as ongoing life for them.both was unravelling as they reach out to others in the same camp as well it had a well rounded off ending as well as information about them both at the end of the book

She told it in an amazing and sensational way which was so heartwarming and gripping so well done Hazel Gaynor for this

Definitely recommend for anyone who loves to read Historical Fiction

5 Stars!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Was this review helpful?

I couldn’t put this book down. An absolute winner for anyone who liked Tenko. The two main narrators were very believable. I highly recommend it.

Was this review helpful?

Unbelievably good. Beautifully written and heart breaking, unforgettable and inspiring. I really enjoyed this book and heartily recommend to any fans of historic fiction. Set in China during Japan’s invasion in WW2 the book follows the plight of the Chefoo school and their relocation to the Weihsien Internment Camp. The characters were wonderfully written and you never stop feeling their joy, pain and hope. Amazing book.

Was this review helpful?

A lovely heartbreaking story of Elspeth and Nancy teacher and pupil of the Chefoo school in china during Japans invasion in ww2. A book i highly recommend others read.5*

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: