Eloquently written, and translated, this book will be one of my favorites for 2009 hands down.
It is 1920’s China, where in a time and place there were transitions, not only for the country, but for people all around the world.
Mme. De Poulan just found out her husband who had moved to China years before to take over the family management in textile exporting has died. Her and her niece that she has custody of since her sister died land in China in the midst of chaos and a very long and rocky boat ride.
Once she arrives, it is a mess. Her husband had ran up debt from his activities. She finds out that he owes quite a bit of money, and needs to pay it back before she leaves to go back to Spain. Then she finds out the REAL reason that her husband died…because he had something in his possession that someone else wanted. Which leaves more and more questions asked then answered.
Thing is though, (and this is where it gets interesting) she comes across an ancient box filled with ancient artifacts, and later finds out from 2 friends of her husband that it is part of a legend, that no one knows if it is true or not. So, the Journalist and Mr. Jiang have set up a meeting with her to discuss this artifact and to explain its significance, along with deciding what to do.
This then sets their long journey into motion across China and coming into contact with the Green Gang, a powerful Chinese gang in which they want exactly what they are searching for.
Do they find it and leave the gang at bay? and what about all of the other obstacles they come into contact with along the way….only way you are going to find out is if you read the book.
I was really thinking last night as I finished, that it would be great if it was brought to the movie screen, it would be along the lines of “National Treasure” but albeit, in the 1920’s. And of course if it would have to be done right. Just with all of the decadence in that era and the way the story was so well written and translated, it was really very hard to put down once I started it. The descriptions of the ornamental artifacts and situations that happened in the book is what really made it for me. I loved it!! The ending of the book was even well thought out and not rushed.
I wasn’t disappointed one bit in this novel – She has also written The Last Cato.
The trade paper back comes out in August, the hardcover is already out in stores now.
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