BOOK REVIEW NO: 160
The Hong Kong Collection
Length ; 307 pages
Publisher ; Asolando Books (Pub Date 19th Jan 23)
The Flame Tree
Based on a little-known true story, from award-winning author Siobhan Daiko comes a tale of love and survival against all the odds set in Hong Kong at the start of the Pacific War.
In the spring of 1939, dashing young William Burton and the beautiful Constance Han set sail from London on the same ocean liner to Hong Kong.
Romance blossoms while they enjoy games of deck quoits and spend sultry tropical evenings dancing under the stars. Connie is intrigued by Will’s talent for writing poetry, and she offers to give him Cantonese lessons to help him with his new job— a cadet in the colonial service.
But once in Hong Kong, Connie is constrained by filial duty towards her Eurasian parents, and their wish for her to marry someone from her own background. She can’t forget Will however and arranges to meet him in secret under the magnificent canopy of a flame of the forest tree—where she fulfils her promise to teach him to speak Chinese.
Before too long, trouble looms as Japanese forces gather on the border between Hong Kong and mainland China. Will joins a commando group tasked with operating behind enemy lines, and Connie becomes involved in the fight against local fifth columnists.
When war breaks out, they find themselves drawn into a wider conflict than their battle against prejudice. Can they survive and achieve a future together? Or do forces beyond their control keep them forever apart?
Perfect for readers of Dinah Jefferies, Ann Bennett and Victoria Hislop.
Purchase Link – https://mybook.to/TFTHK
REVIEW ~ NIKI PRESTON ~ 5 STARS
Wow ! Just WOW! What a completely absorbing read The Flame Tree is. I absolutely lapped up every single word. The fact that it is based on a true story made this book all the more emotional for me. Siobhan Daiko really creates a picture in your minds eye so vivid you can almost feel, smell and live every character, situation and passion contained with in each page. I was totally lost in this epic book. I adored it, I can not say enough just how much I enjoyed The Flame Tree. It offers an insight into just how terrible the war was in Hong Kong. Something I really didn’t have much of idea on until now. I have a deeper understanding of how heart breaking it was. How strong the camaraderie was, how important friendships were and even more, how to live each day as it comes.
Have a read of the blurb as it really sets the scene much better than I can. All I can do is recommend and then recommend again. It is an utterly breath taking book of epic proportions. FABULOUS !
Author Bio –
Siobhan Daiko is a British historical fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese dog and a rescued cat. Siobhan was born of English parents in Hong Kong, attended boarding school in Australia, and then moved to the UK—where she taught modern foreign languages in a Welsh comprehensive school. She now spends her time writing page-turners and enjoying her life near Venice. Her novels are compelling, poignant, and deeply moving, with strong characters and evocative settings, but always with romance at their heart.
Social Media Links –
Amazon Author Page: author.to/SiobhanDaiko
With Thanks for the Advance copy to ….
Rachel Gilbey https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/
Siobhan Daiko See links above
Aslando Books https://www.facebook.com/AsolandoBooks