Soon after Lucette and Philippe Delon’s arrival in Vietnam, Lucette is shaken when she has a minor car accident. The other driver, Gaston Laroche, gives her assistance, and this brings him into her life and Philippe’s, and also into the lives of their neighbours, Marc and Simonne Bouvier.
The two couples rapidly become friends, with ties made stronger by the fact that Philippe is aide to Marc, a senior official in the French colonial administration. They all welcome Gaston, a charismatic and charming man, into their group.
Unknown to Philippe, Marc is hiding a dangerous secret. Unknown to Marc, Gaston is aware of that. And he’s determined to expose the truth.
But even the best laid plans can go astray, and where there are women involved, they’re even more likely to do so.
Hanoi Spring is a gripping standalone novel set during the time of the French Colonial rule of Vietnam.
Amazon Buyer Reviews – [See all reviews]
Having read all of Liz Harris’s novels and loved them, I expected Hanoi Spring, whilst good, to be similar and belong to Historical Romantic Fiction. It is romantic without doubt with a fabulous and exotic immersion in Vietnam during its occupation by the French and a touching love story between Mai and her revolutionary beau as well as the stress political shenanigans can put on a marriage.
I won’t reveal the plot but suffice to say that this is a book filled with tension, loyalty and potential betrayals. It is beautifully and sympathetically written. Move over Graham Green because as well as lush descriptive elements Hanoi Spring has a thriller feel to it. Liz Harris knows her territory and dramatises it flawlessly with the political situation of that time ( 1930s) playing its parts in her characters lives.
The novel centres on the lives of two couples, the prison, the revolutionary movement of this time and Vietnamese life. She does not disappoint. A frisson of danger constantly runs through this unputdownable story. She also subtly draws intelligent and poignant comparisons between the lives of the Vietnamese and the French colonials. The Hanoi locations are vividly portrayed including the inclusion of myth, and having been to Hanoi myself I can vouch for her accuracy.
I also loved the novel’s intrigue contrasted with the domestic. Most of all her characterisation is just so convincing. It is I believe her best book to date in many ways. Harris cleverly draws strands together into a surprising but successful, satisfactory ending. Highly Recommended. Do read it. (Carol McGrath, Amazon Review)
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