Two books entered my home this week, both from Bloomsbury ANZ :
THE HARBOUR by Francesca Brill
It is the summer of 1940, and for Stevie Steiber, a young American journalist in Hong Kong, the war raging in Europe is a world away. While longing to be taken seriously as a writer, she keeps her readers informed about society gossip from the Orient, her days at the
Happy Valley race-course slipping into dangerous, hedonistic nights.
Major Harry Field has been charged by Her Majesty’s Government with investigating suspicious activity inside the colony. He is intrigued by the recent arrival of Jishang, a sophisticated Chinese publisher who owns a controversial political magazine. But it is Stevie, Jishang’s outspoken, beautiful correspondent who really fascinates him.
As the decadent British contingent remain oblivious to the cataclysm nearly upon them, the spy and the journalist are obsessively drawn to one another. And when the Japanese army seizes the island, they are faced with terrifying challenges. What will they sacrifice to stay alive, and how far will they go to protect each other? The Harbour is a stunning and utterly compelling debut about war, love and betrayal.
THE SCENT OF LEMON LEAVES by Clara Sanchez
Having left her job and boyfriend, thirty year old Sandra decides to stay in a village on the Costa Blanca in order to take stock of her life and find a new direction. She befriends Karin and Fredrik, an elderly Norwegian couple, who provide her with stimulating company and take the place of the grandparents she never had. However, when she meets Julián, a former concentration-camp inmate who has just returned to Europe from Argentina, she discovers that all is not what it seems and finds herself involved in a perilous quest for the truth.
As well as being a powerful account of self-discovery and an exploration of history and redemption, The Scent of Lemon Leaves is a sophisticated and nail-biting page-turner by one of Spain’s most accomplished authors.
What did you get in your mailbox this week?
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