Dinah Jeffries’ third work of historical fiction. Set in French Indochina in 1952, the story’s focus is Nicole, the less preferred second daughter of a French father by a Vietnamese mother, who is given a near-defunct silk shop in the Vietnamese quarter of colonial Hanoi, while her sister Sylvie is bequeathed the family’s successful silk business. Contending with dual nationalities and feeling like she belongs nowhere, Nicole lives in a Hanoi and a Vietnam that is similarly segregated, right down to the way the heat and chaos of the city – and most particularly the rebel-occupied quarter where the shop is located – mingles with the luxurious world of the silk industry. It is against this backdrop that Nicole experiences romance, unearths secrets and becomes as divided by conflict as the city around her.
‘Each word is a brush on the canvas, each chapter a new part of the picture, until the very end when you can step back and marvel at the work of art in front of you.’
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
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