Duncan is a skillful, commercial novelist whose strength (The Queen's Messenger, In the Enemy Camp) is his expert knowledge of Far Eastern history and politics. It is therefore a bit disconcerting to find his new novel beginning much in the style of Krantz, on the eve of a big fashion opening in Paris. The couturier, however, is a beautiful and indomitable Japanese woman, Suki, and soon we are back on firmer ground as Duncan tells of her rise from poverty, her relationship in the war-ravaged Shanghai of the 1930s with a dashing young American diplomat, Sam Cummings, and an equally dashing Japanese army officer, Colonel Ito. The interlinked personal dramas of the trio are enacted against a colorful backdrop of Chinese warlords, Japanese armies and canny American businessmen, with the wartime suffering of the Chinese deployed to provoke occasional moments of compassion. The book moves on, inevitably, to World War II, to the enforced estrangement of Cummings and Ito and the inevitable death of the latter. Meanwhile Suki's fashion career is on the rise, and back at the dress show in Paris . . . . There are some surprises in the windup, but the notion of hanging a novel's climax on the outcome of a struggle for power in the fashion business, after 50 years of war, revolution, bloodshed, thwarted honor and hairsbreadth escapes, seems a touch bizarre. Still, Duncan writes smoothly and with expert pacing and occasionally, as in his portrait of the elderly American consul in Shanghai, achieves something touching.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A poor Japanese girl overcomes great obstacles to achieve success. Sold into prostitution in 1931 to pay her father's debts, Yuki Nakamura escapes and ends up as a translator in the American consulate in Shanghai. Two men play prominent roles in her life: American diplomat Sam Cummings jeopardizes his career by acknowledging paternity of Yuki's daughter, Dawn; Japanese Colonel Ito sets her up in business and later takes her along to Manchuria. After World War II, Yuki and Dawn become successful Tokyo fashion designers. Adventure and intrigue make this novel enjoyable. It does, however, require a tolerance for coincidence and one-dimensional characters whose motivations are related rather than depicted. Consider where appropriate. Ellen Daye Stoppel, Drake Univ. Law Lib., Des Moines
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description HARPERCOLLINS, 1988. Book Condition: Fair. First Edition. N/A. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP75610343
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 07/04/1988, 1988. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780002233675
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Book Description Collins, London, 1988. hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: good. First Edition. 8vo. Slight browning to page edges. Dw has hole to lower rear cover. Npc. Bookseller Inventory # 10521
Book Description Collins, London, 1988. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: near Very Good. First edition. 1st printing. Black cloth boards stamped in gilt on the spine. Name and reader's comment (Excellent read!) on the ffe else a clean, unmarked copy in a tight binding and unclipped dust jacket. The dust jacket is lightly chipped at the folds and has a couple of closed tears. Bookseller Inventory # 89562