The Flame Tree by Siobhan Daiko is a fascinating historical novel and part of the Hong Kong Collection.
The story is fictional but has its roots in fact. It is set in 1939 and into the World War II years in Hong Kong. I was educated as I read about the brave people of Hong Kong during the war.
Ordinary men and women were flung into war after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in December 1941. As a British colony, the Hong Kong people fought against the Japanese.
Some young British men living in Hong Kong formed an elite group Z. They were fearless in their fight.
We see the difficulties facing a young British man and a Eurasian woman, the daughter of a prominent Hong Kong citizen. To be seen with the man would mean ruin for the young woman. Love must find a way.
Prejudice and a class system were rife in Hong Kong but there were those who only saw brave beating hearts rather than skin colour.
All the characters were well drawn, likable and realistic.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Flame Tree. I have been educated and entertained as I read about the bravery of ordinary citizens. This is a marvelous read.
I received a free copy via Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
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
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 –
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/siobhan-daiko
Amazon Author Page: author.to/SiobhanDaiko
Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Flame Tree (Open INT)
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Thank you so much for featuring “The Flame Tree”!!!