Virginia Pye | author

Praise for River of Dust

Buy River of Dust

“Virginia Pye’s River of Dust is a remarkable
novel in the ways that delight me the most:
It has a compelling narrative voice, a dynamic
story and a deep resonance into the universal
human condition, all of which is inextricably
bound together. This is a major work by a
splendid writer.”


Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good
Scent from a Strange Mountain

“A vividly imagined and beautifully drawn
picture of the life of Christian missionaries
in China in the early 20th century.”


Bestselling author of Wild Swans: Three
Daughters of China
and Empress Dowager

“Pye’s sharp, haunting descriptions of drought, famine, desert travel, and opium dens will immerse readers in this world. River of Dust is a must-read for fans of quality historical fiction.”


Book Vault

“Virginia Pye has a stand-out voice for creating fantastic imagery….River of Dust peeks into a corner of the past rarely examined by historical fiction, which is a refreshing change. Even beyond a new setting are the bigger questions raised by the world Pye introduces readers to; imperialism, evangelism and faith swirl around the novel from front to back without leaving the story feeling like it has a religious agenda…. Virginia Pye has written a novel blending a rich, historic setting with an engaging story that explores the limits of faith.”


River of Dust is mysterious, exotic, creepy—everything ignorant foreigners used to believe China to be. A fine journey, well worth the effort.”


The Washington Post

“Terrific, tremendous, wonderful...a strong
beautiful, deep book.”


Pulitzer Prize-winning author of
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

“An exotic gemstone of a novel, shimmering against the fascinating world of Christian missionaries in early 20th century China. Both a ravishingly provocative exploration of what we believe in and why, be it God or the hope of finding a missing child, and a fascinating look at how time, place and culture free and imprison us, River of Dust is a masterpiece.”


New York Times bestselling author of
Is this Tomorrow and Pictures of You

“Read River of Dust for a view of 1910 China that will inform, entertain, and enlighten you. Savor it for Pye’s ability to show the changes in her characters through their actions and for the way she makes Acho and Mai Lin delightfully real and complex. Choose it for your book club to discuss the influence of the culture of the time and the nature of circumstances that can alter beliefs and faith.”


“The entire novel ultimately becomes an analogy for grief over a lost child, and China is simply the treacherous, foreign landscape on which it is laid. In the end, the sense of adventure beckons the characters more than the sense of loss buries them. Pye’s hand manages to paint a rather naked response to what it means to move forward with only a sort of faithless hope.”


Style Weekly

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