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A Hundred Suns

A Hundred Suns

Book - 2020
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"On a humid afternoon in 1933, American Jessie Lesage steps off a boat from Paris and onto the shores of Vietnam. Accompanying her French husband Victor, an heir to the Michelin rubber fortune, she's certain that their new life is full of promise, for while the rest of the world is sinking into economic depression, Indochine is gold for the Michelins. Jessie knows that their vast plantations near Saigon are the key to the family's prosperity, and while they have been marred in scandal, she needs them to succeed for her husband's sake-and to ensure that her trail of secrets stays hidden in the past. Jessie dives into the glamorous colonial world, where money is king and morals are brushed aside, and meets Marcelle de Fabry, a spellbinding French woman with a moneyed Indochinese lover, the silk tycoon Khoi Nguyen. Descending on Jessie's world like a hurricane, Marcelle proves to be an exuberant guide to ex-pat life. But hidden beneath her vivacious exterior is a fierce desire to put the colony back in the hands of its people, starting with the Michelin plantations, fueled by a terrible wrong committed against her and Khoi's loved ones in Paris. Yet it doesn't take long for the sun-drenched days and champagne-soaked nights to catch up with Jessie. With an increasingly fractured mind, her affection for Indochine falters. And as a fiery political struggle builds around her, Jessie begins to wonder what's real in a friendship that she suspects may be nothing but a house of cards. Motivated by love, driven by ambition, and seeking self-preservation at all costs, Jessie and Marcelle each toe the line between friend and foe, ethics and excess."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2020
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250231475
Characteristics: 387 pages : map ; 25 cm


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Mar 29, 2021

An excellent rendition of life in the 1930's French Indochine (Vietnam)

Aug 26, 2020

Listened to the audiobook. The narrator was fantastic. Kept me interested in the book straight through the end. A fascinating tale highlighting the challenges of the rubber plantations in Indochine and how Jessie struggled to keep her past from the present.

May 02, 2020

Edmonton Journal

Apr 03, 2020

Books featuring Vietnam seem to be popping up everywhere. This is my third in the past month--two historical fiction and one thriller. This new title from Karin Tanabe is set in the 30's at the height of French colonialism. Jessie and Marcelle tell the story of swanky clubs, fancy yachts, opium parties, and the rise of communism on the rubber plantations. The lives of the two women are intertwined in ways we do not understand until much later in the narrative. Through it all, Jessie strives for a partnership with her husband who is connected to the iconic Michelin family. Marcelle freely cavorts with her Indochine lover while socializing on the arm of her husband who has his share of affairs and works with the government. When Jessie sees the suffering on the rubber plantations first hand, how can she put her family first and still help the workers live better lives? If this setting appeals to you and you like historical fiction, be sure to check out "The Mountains Sing" by Phan Qu Mai Nguyn.


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