A Hundred Suns

Karin Tanabe. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-23147-5
Tanabe (The Gilded Years) transports readers to the beauty and danger of 1930s Indochina in this stirring, elegant romance. American-born Jessie Lesage leaves Paris with her French husband, Victor, and their daughter, Lucie, in 1933 so that Victor, whose family owns the Michelin tire company, can oversee his family’s rubber plantations in Phu Rieng, Cochinchina. Once Jessie arrives in Hanoi, she meets Marcelle de Fabry, the wife of Arnaud de Fabry, a successful Hanoi financier. Marcelle introduces Jessie to the excesses of the colony, inviting Jessie onto a sailboat belonging to her lover, Khoi Nguyen, a silk scion and Communist sympathizer. After Jessie meets Hugh “Red” Redvers, a handsome British man working to expand the railroad in Indochina, Red gives her opium and encourages her to visit the rubber plantations to witness the conditions faced by the workers, which she had yet to see firsthand. As she tries to reconcile love for her husband with her newfound outrage at his industry’s abuses, her emotional torment and opium use lead to hallucinations. Tanabe’s richly drawn novel is complete with multidimensional characters who gradually reveal their secrets, leading Jessie to discover that her frequent bouts of confusion are not only caused by opium. Fans of historical fiction will be enthralled. Agent: Bridget Matzie, Aevitas Creative Management. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 12/10/2019
Release date: 04/07/2020
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-26103-8
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