The White Pearl

Kate Furnivall. Berkley, $15 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-0-425-24100-4
In another of her historical action stories, Furnivall (The Russian Concubine) takes readers on a tour through the islands of the Southeast Asian Pacific in the throes of WWII. The novel opens in colonial Malaya with Connie Hadley, the compliant wife of a plantation owner, in a car accident that kills a native woman in front of the woman’s twin teenage children. Wracked with guilt, Connie makes it her mission to help twins Razak and Maya, despite her husband’s protests. But the story takes a turn from domestic colonial tale to action-adventure when the Japanese invade. Connie assembles the family on their titular yacht, casting together the native twins with her own young son, a mysteriously well-connected boat captain, and a rough-and-tumble couple they encounter fleeing on foot. As The White Pearl hurtles between the islands around Singapore, its inhabitants watch the Japanese and Allied forces battle it out in the skies. The group lands on an island that is not as uninhabited as they’d thought and it all ends with an exhilarating, if somewhat implausible, dénouement. Furnivall weaves the dramas of her characters into the threads of history, creating an engrossing read on many levels. Agent: Teresa Chris, the Teresa Chris Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/2012
Release date: 03/06/2012
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-7515-4336-0
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-101-56091-4
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