Olga Yunter was born in July 1900 in a remote frontier post in southern Siberia. A girlhood played out against the backdrop of the China trade -- brimming with tea, silk, gold and furs, nomadic herdsmen, and adventures on horseback -- changed forever, when, at seventeen, Olga joined her brothers in their fight against the Bolsheviks. Death and retribution followed. Olga was forced to flee to China, rubies sewn into her petticoats, to save herself. In China she was to find peace only for a short time before the guns of the Second World War drew close and Olga would have to flee once more. She would never hear from her family in Siberia again. From the comfort of her family to the terror of revolution and war, journeys across vast continents in exile, Olga's Story is the breathtaking and heartbreaking tale of the author's grandmother, lived at the heart of the twentieth century.
Stephanie Williams was born in Canada, the daughter of an army officer. Her mother was born in China, to an Englishman and a young Russian refugee who had escaped the brutality of the Bolshevik revolution. Stephanie grew up moving constantly across Canada, Europe and the United States, before taking a degree in history at Wellesley College, Massachusetts and becoming a London-based journalist. Out of a three-year stay in Hong Kong, came the commission to write 'Hongkong Bank', the story of the building of Norman Foster's masterpiece for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. This was followed by 'Docklands' in 1993. By this time, perestroika had come to Russia and it was possible to begin to investigate the truth of her Russian grandmother's tumultuous past. Researching and writing 'Olga's Story' took ten years. Stephanie's latest book is 'Running the Show: Governors of the British Empire'.