1952, French Indochina. Since her mother’s death, eighteen-year-old half-French, half-Vietnamese Nicole has been living in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Sylvie. When Sylvie is handed control of the family silk business, Nicole is given an abandoned silk shop in the Vietnamese quarter of Hanoi. But the area is teeming with militant rebels who want to end French rule, by any means possible. For the first time, Nicole is awakened to the corruption of colonial rule – and her own family’s involvement shocks her to the core…
Tran, a notorious Vietnamese insurgent, seems to offer the perfect escape from her troubles, while Mark, a charming American trader, is the man she’s always dreamed of. But who can she trust in this world where no one is what they seem?
The Silk Merchant’s Daughter is a captivating tale of dark secrets, sisterly rivalry and love against the odds, enchantingly set in colonial era Vietnam.
Submerged, she moves in tumbling slow motion, her long hair swirling around her head.1: HANOI, VIETNAM
(@PenguinUKBooks, 14 July 2016, 400 pages, paperback, freebie from the author for reviewing one of her books)
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I’ve read other books by the author and had really enjoyed them. This is my favourite so far. If you’re not familiar with the author’s work, based on the title and cover you’d probably think this was some sort of romance. You’d be wrong. There are romantic elements but they serve as a backdrop to the main events in the novel which revolve around war and spying with a little dose of betrayal, false imprisonment and murder. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting this book to be as dark as it gets. I thought it was great. Nicole is a great character, she’s feisty and resilient, determined not to let her mixed race origins define her in a society that hates her and is suspicious of her because she’s half-Vietnamese. I got completely caught up in Nicole’s world and didn’t want to leave it.