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Adventure, romance and war in the Far East: The Iris Hay-Edie Diary: A historical memoir

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Adventure, romance and war in the Far East is a fascinating true story based on the diary and memoir of Iris Hay-Edie, an attractive and free-spirited Scottish girl who grew up in the glamorous French Riviera during the 1920’s. Suffering under her strict mother, she ran away from home and never turned back. Iris leads us on an enchanted journey around the world and throug Adventure, romance and war in the Far East is a fascinating true story based on the diary and memoir of Iris Hay-Edie, an attractive and free-spirited Scottish girl who grew up in the glamorous French Riviera during the 1920’s. Suffering under her strict mother, she ran away from home and never turned back. Iris leads us on an enchanted journey around the world and through the Far East to what were then remote colonies of European empires during the 1930’s. Reaching Hong Kong, she falls in love, but soon after, the Japanese invade the island and bomb her new home with her and her young family inside it. Opting to escape prison camp, they flee across China, over the “Hump” of the Himalayas, to India, Kashmir and beyond. Her outgoing and positive personality captivates the reader, and her old photos and postcards add an extra dimension of interest to this historical account of her extraordinary life as a rebellious, independent woman in a bygone era of colonial powers and decadence, of the brutal war in the Pacific, and of the growth of the Far East into the powerhouse that Asia is today.


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Adventure, romance and war in the Far East is a fascinating true story based on the diary and memoir of Iris Hay-Edie, an attractive and free-spirited Scottish girl who grew up in the glamorous French Riviera during the 1920’s. Suffering under her strict mother, she ran away from home and never turned back. Iris leads us on an enchanted journey around the world and throug Adventure, romance and war in the Far East is a fascinating true story based on the diary and memoir of Iris Hay-Edie, an attractive and free-spirited Scottish girl who grew up in the glamorous French Riviera during the 1920’s. Suffering under her strict mother, she ran away from home and never turned back. Iris leads us on an enchanted journey around the world and through the Far East to what were then remote colonies of European empires during the 1930’s. Reaching Hong Kong, she falls in love, but soon after, the Japanese invade the island and bomb her new home with her and her young family inside it. Opting to escape prison camp, they flee across China, over the “Hump” of the Himalayas, to India, Kashmir and beyond. Her outgoing and positive personality captivates the reader, and her old photos and postcards add an extra dimension of interest to this historical account of her extraordinary life as a rebellious, independent woman in a bygone era of colonial powers and decadence, of the brutal war in the Pacific, and of the growth of the Far East into the powerhouse that Asia is today.

30 review for Adventure, romance and war in the Far East: The Iris Hay-Edie Diary: A historical memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Markus

    Iris Hay-Edie (1909-2009) The true life story of Iris, a Scottish-born female, An attractive adventurous girl, a loving wife, and mother and later a lonely widow, surrounded by a large and beautiful family. From the French Riviera to Paris, then to London, running away from her unbearably tyrannical mother. She then takes a steamship to the Far East, to the far away Empires and European Colonies in the 1930’s to meet up with her brother and start a new life. Arriving in Hong Kong she soon falls in Iris Hay-Edie (1909-2009) The true life story of Iris, a Scottish-born female, An attractive adventurous girl, a loving wife, and mother and later a lonely widow, surrounded by a large and beautiful family. From the French Riviera to Paris, then to London, running away from her unbearably tyrannical mother. She then takes a steamship to the Far East, to the far away Empires and European Colonies in the 1930’s to meet up with her brother and start a new life. Arriving in Hong Kong she soon falls in love with a successful young Norwegian Shipping Agent, gets married and has a child. Life is a beautiful dream then. But then on 8th December 1941, everything changes overnight, as Japanese Airplanes soon start bombing the city in preparation to the Japanese invasion. The essential part of the book starts here, based on Iris’s War Diary. She recorded events as they unfolded by the hour. Hong Kong relentlessly bombed by Japanese Aircraft, until their own new home was hit by several bombs, while all the little family and some friends were taking cover in the basement. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the house was destroyed. Eventually, Hong Kong had to surrender to the Japanese invasion. In order to escape prison camp, they flee across China, by boat, foot, truck, and finally by air over the Himalaya to India and Kashmere. In Bombay, Reidar, Iris’s husband, could take up his work as shipping agent again and the family was safe. The story continues in a more peaceful way to unravel when Raidar retires and they all set up a new and beautiful home in Jamaica. The literary style of the writing is rather simple and straight forward, just like her diary, which was surely not intended to be published as a book one day. Still, as the characters are all of a charming and attaching nature, and also for me the historical background was largely unknown in details, reading this book was really interesting and pleasant.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Belinda

    4,25 stars - Amazon Kindle Edison - I have dyslexia- - We have been adviced to wear black incase of Japanse places coming over. If they see forgein loocking people they might juice machine guns- The story of Iris Hay- Edie is based on her memoir. Her granddaughter Iris wrote the book. In the book see writes: For Iris's grand- and great -grandchildren it will serve as a reminder to them of the wonderful personality she was. My opionon is that you can read that on the pages of the book. But also was 4,25 stars - Amazon Kindle Edison - I have dyslexia- - We have been adviced to wear black incase of Japanse places coming over. If they see forgein loocking people they might juice machine guns- The story of Iris Hay- Edie is based on her memoir. Her granddaughter Iris wrote the book. In the book see writes: For Iris's grand- and great -grandchildren it will serve as a reminder to them of the wonderful personality she was. My opionon is that you can read that on the pages of the book. But also was Iris a woman who In a time that that not was normal went alone on a road trip to Hong Kong, and later to Japan with her Son Jojo. She drove cross country true Amerika with her brother and his friend. She met her true love and had to leave Hong Kong for the Japanese. The doctor in Hong Kong who they told about their route of escape had said that their was a big chance that the children would get sick or worse. But they knew that the intern camps where worse for family's with young children. What a brave person she was. And chapeau to her grand daughter who mixed the story of Iris with pictures, pages of her memoirs and more explanation about the far east and trading in the far east. It makes a story you should read. 😀🌹

  3. 4 out of 5

    Justin Wheeler

    What makes this story unique is it was originally written as a personal diary that spanned nearly 100 year of the author's life, most of the 20th century. Of particular interest are the daily entries during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong during the Pacific War of WWII where Iris and her young family were being bombed in their home and later had to flee across mainland China, over the Himalayas and into India. We including her photos and postcards she collected during her travels and during th What makes this story unique is it was originally written as a personal diary that spanned nearly 100 year of the author's life, most of the 20th century. Of particular interest are the daily entries during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong during the Pacific War of WWII where Iris and her young family were being bombed in their home and later had to flee across mainland China, over the Himalayas and into India. We including her photos and postcards she collected during her travels and during the war. After careful editing and research to add supporting details of the events that she experienced, the story reads like it was intended to be published as a novel from the start, something that surely Iris never would have expected. Her independent and adventurous character, combined with the extraordinary events that she experiences make her story outstanding.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    This was a really fun read. International travel in the first half of the twentieth century was so different compared to now. If you can imagine growing up on the French Riviera, boarding school, going to stay with your brother in Hong Kong, traveling around the world, suffering through the Japanese takeover and aftermath, this story will amaze you. Iris Hay-Edie was an amazing person. A great hostess, guest, friend to everyone. I really enjoyed this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    This was not a dry textbook-like history. The diary entries and interview style made all of the facts alive, as though you were talking with a friend who had lived through WWII. In the beginning of the book, I thought I would like the parts about Hay-Edie's childhood the best, but I ended up getting really caught up in the WWII part, which is most of the book. I have learned about the war before, but this book showed daily living as a European mom of little kids during the Japanese occupation of This was not a dry textbook-like history. The diary entries and interview style made all of the facts alive, as though you were talking with a friend who had lived through WWII. In the beginning of the book, I thought I would like the parts about Hay-Edie's childhood the best, but I ended up getting really caught up in the WWII part, which is most of the book. I have learned about the war before, but this book showed daily living as a European mom of little kids during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. I am amazed at the strength and endurance of Hay-Edie and can see how people without the connections she had would have perished. She definitely has a colonial mindset, treating the amahs and other servants as people without their own needs for socializing and family.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Gooding

    Considering all the things that weigh us down and stop us in our tracts in life, it is inspiration to see the way in which Iris lives her life. When bad stuff happens, she observes it, but that is mostly it, and that gives her the freedom to move on and live her life so fully. Watching Iris recognize the bad things that happen in her life, and not react to them, and not be encumbered by the judgments of the times, we see the freedom Iris gains to live her life on her terms, in the way she wants. Considering all the things that weigh us down and stop us in our tracts in life, it is inspiration to see the way in which Iris lives her life. When bad stuff happens, she observes it, but that is mostly it, and that gives her the freedom to move on and live her life so fully. Watching Iris recognize the bad things that happen in her life, and not react to them, and not be encumbered by the judgments of the times, we see the freedom Iris gains to live her life on her terms, in the way she wants. The life she lived is that of a dream adventure, not because she dreamed it, but because she lived her life freely, and thus, the adventurous life resulted. This is the true inspiration of Iris as told in “Adventure, Romance and War in the Far East.”

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mare

    Interesting look into this time period with the advantage of photos.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Miri Swanton

    I can appreciate the fascinating life Iris had. She went through many extremely difficult and dangerous situations, however she came across to me as entitled, selfish and unbelievably disconnected from reality at times.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christie

    This was an engaging read and showed me a side of history I had never heard about. Growing up, we would study the effects of the Second World War on Europe, but little was ever said about Asia. This memoir gives us a detailed, thorough look at one woman's experience of the war in Asia, beginning in Hong Kong, moving on to China, and ending up for a time in India. The beginning seemed a little over detailed at times (so many proposals!), while the end seemed a bit rushed and was lacking in detail This was an engaging read and showed me a side of history I had never heard about. Growing up, we would study the effects of the Second World War on Europe, but little was ever said about Asia. This memoir gives us a detailed, thorough look at one woman's experience of the war in Asia, beginning in Hong Kong, moving on to China, and ending up for a time in India. The beginning seemed a little over detailed at times (so many proposals!), while the end seemed a bit rushed and was lacking in details about how life was post-war, but overall it was an interesting look at war from one woman's perspective.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marguerite Wilbur

    Fascinating reading the first hand experiences of a woman living in Hong Kong during the Japanese invasion during WWII.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Toothbrush.fh

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Tie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Reed

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sue Jacobson

  15. 4 out of 5

    Batmanthebest98 Jormei

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  17. 5 out of 5

    Edward Smit

  18. 5 out of 5

    Claudio Insigno

  19. 5 out of 5

    WILLIAM SMTH

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Chambers

  21. 4 out of 5

    kathleen clifford

  22. 4 out of 5

    Janice Wheelbarger

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jason Urquidez

  24. 5 out of 5

    John Read

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ann Roberts

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chamekh Ghada

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marco Meier

  28. 4 out of 5

    Russell Whiteford

  29. 4 out of 5

    Josafat

  30. 4 out of 5

    Debra Music

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