A Hundred Suns [E–pub READ]

Rs of the Michelin plantations near Saigon Victor and his family have recently moved to Indochine and he is in charge of making sure those plantations keep bringing in the dough Jessie soon meets Marcelle de Fabry a married French woman who also has a lover named Khoi Nguyen While Jessie is drawn to her new friend she isn t aware that Marcelle has a hidden agenda The story alternates between the perspectives of Jessie and Marcelle and bit by bit ou learn of their backstories which certainly play a role in their actions I don t think it s giving anything away to say wealth vs poverty is a theme explored in the story as well as the political climate during that time period This is a book that had substance but in my opinion did not reach its full potential It s not that I didn t enjoy reading it I just ultimately didn t feel satisfied by how everything wrapped up in the end The last uarter or so of the story is the weakest part in my opinion as things start veering into soap opera territory Even though this wasn t a perfect read I do think it is worth reading if The Thing About Alice you enjoy historical fiction One of the best things about this genre is it can provideou an opportunity to learn and broaden Un lieu incertain your horizons I appreciate the author s attempt to let me visit a time period and place that I wasn t too familiar with prior to reading Thankou to St Martin s Press for sending me an advance reader s copy in exchange for an honest review Genre Historical FictionWomen s FictionPublisher St Martin s PressPub Date April 7 2020This historical fiction has moments of greatness The story is set in Indochina during the late 1920s and the early 1930s If Starman The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin you are a history buffou will be delighted to know that this reviewer learned much about Indochina the French Colony in Vietnam Unlike any schoolbook Tanabe makes ou feel as if ou are there with the coolies during their long impossibly hard workday The anti colonialist roots of communism are captured in the abject poverty of the Vietnamese and the abundance of wealth and luxurious living conditions of the French who ruled and lived in Indochina The author gave me the gift of detailed knowledge Thanks to Suns I finally have a better understanding of how the Martin Sheen character in Apocalypse Now could go from fighting in the jungles of Vietnam to having an elaborate dinner there while being waited on by servants with a wealthy French family who insist that Vietnam is their home The tale revolves around an American wife who marries a Frenchman who is a member of the Michelin dynasty The famous family is a major part of the story In real life the Michelin brothers organized two Indochinese rubber plantations in 1925 where they operated until the end of the Vietnam War The author does a thorough job regarding less known information about the Michelins Surprisingly at least for me the family is painted as part of the wealthy imperialists who cannot understand the pain of the underprivileged The uality of life for their workers read as horrendous Since I have always smiled at the image of The Michelin Man I looked for proof of Tanabe s descriptions I found them to be true On just one Michelin owned plantation 17000 deaths were recorded in the 20 Edge of Chaos Sons of Chaos MC years between the two World Wars Suns is written so the reader will sympathize with the communist Vietnamese The author has the ability to make one uestion whatou learned in school I will never again read a Michelin Star Rated Restaurant Guide without thinking of how their rubber and money was madeTurns out the novel is also written as a psychological thriller regarding the American wife She has a history of mental illness The author presents this as an Or does she type of situation I didn t mind this component of the novel at all It did not interfere with the history I actually found it intriguing My issue is that romance finds its way into the plot Unfortunately I didn t notice that this genre is historical fiction as well as women s fiction something I do not usually care for So my disappointment is on me for not carefully looking over the genre before choosing the novel My only strong criticism is that Tanabe did not have endnotes True facts make historical fiction feel authentic and give the author credibility However this may be due to the fact that I read an Advanced Review Copy and the citations may come once the book is published Still overall I enjoyed this novel very much and recommend it *The entire plot revolving around the history of Vietnam during those ears is powerfully written And the thriller *entire plot revolving around the history of Vietnam during those ears is powerfully written And the thriller is clever Plus if The Summer I Wasn't Me you enjoy women s fiction this will be a win win book forou I received this Advance Review Copy ARC novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest reviewFind all my book reviews at Whatever complaints or criticisms I might have had about this novel are greatly outweighed by the fact that it held my interest Not an easy feat in this time of unrest and uncertainty My powers of concentration have taken a nosedive When I was a oungster I used to read novels about colonial life under the British Raj and suchlike In my ignorance of history and what colonialism was all about I thought it would be so exotically glamorous to be one of those colonials sent to a far flung outpost living in a palatial residence waited on by numerous servants and soaking up the local culture When I grew older I learned that such a life was made possible only by subjugating the native people stripping them of their sovereignty stealing their natural resources and then making them work for a pittance in servitude to the invaders This novel takes place in French Indochine now Viet Nam in the 1930s It contrasts the intrigues and debauchery of the French colonials with the suffering of the native people specifically those driven by poverty and desperation to work on rubber plantations Here in the west we think of Communism as the Great Satan but given the way these people were treated it s perfectly understandable that they would be drawn to Communism as an alternative If ou decide to read this book I highly recommend Googling images of the buildings and other places mentioned Some of them are uite spectacula. ?s loved ones in ParisYet it doesn’t take long for of them are uite spectacula. ?s loved ones in ParisYet it doesn’t take long for sun drenched days and champagne soaked nights to catch up with Jessie With an increasingly fractured mind her affection for Indochine falters And as a fiery political struggle builds around her Jessie begins to wonder what’s real in a friendship that she suspects may be nothing but a house of cardsMotivated by love driven by ambition and seeking self preservation at all costs Jessie and Marcelle each toe the line between friend and foe ethics and excess Cast against the stylish backdrop of 1930s Indochine in a time and place defined by contrasts and convictions A Hundred Suns is historical fiction at its lush suspenseful be. ,

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Rich and frivolous ex pats There was much drinking drugs adulterous relationships descriptions of fashion deception plotting and intrigue The plight and exploitation of the impoverished overworked and abused native plantation workers was relegated to the background as was the start of the Communist movement I didn t care for the two main female characters the scheming and duplicity their affairs or their family life 35 stars rounded downI love to be introduced to a different time and place by historical fiction But in order for it to enthrall me I really want to feel I ve learned something A Hundred Suns t Frenemies Jessie and Marcelle narrate this tale of 1930 s Indochina Both have made the similar journey from humble beginnings to lavish living by marrying well Moving from Parisian student days to ex pat living as pampered wealthy wives one married into the Michelin family and the other married the president of the chamber of commerce Mixed relationships opium dens and opulence are juxtaposed with the atrocious treatment of the coolie employees on the Michelin rubber plantations The revenge aspect of the novel seemed to be a bit flimsy in that it was of the kill the messenger variety but nonetheless the tale is tense chic and possesses than a little mystiue In 1933 Victor Michelin Lesage his American born wife Jessie and their oung daughter Lucie move from Paris to Hanoi Victor is to take over the management of the rubber plantations owned by the Michelin family In Indochine Jessie tries to adapt to her new surroundings while escaping secrets from her past She is taken under the wing of Marcelle another wealthy French expat I really enjoyed this book told in alternating chapters by Jessie and Marcelle It explored the tensions between the colonialist French who spent a lot of time drinking alcohol and smoking opium and the communists who wanted the French to go home or at least to provide better conditions for the workers who lived under intolerable conditions on the plantations The relationship between Jessie and Marcelle took an unexpected path They were well matched in their determination to achieve their goals I was afraid that this book would be too women s fiction for me well look at the cover but it was political and hard edged than that It was atmospheric but not as much as I was expecting I didn t really get a feel for the sounds smells or life of the place The intensity of the conflicts amped up at the end of the book and I found the ending satisfying I received a free copy of this book from the publisher Cupidity A Hundred Suns is a probing story of avarice power revenge and colonial politics set in French Indochina in the 1930s Jessie Lesage and her husband heir to the Michelin business empire Victor Michelin Lesage arrive in Vietnam amidst a global recession to manage the Michelin rubber plantations and grow their fortuneKarin Tanabe paints a vivid picture of the French colonial masters living a profuse lifestyle of opium glamour and sex while ordinary plantation coolies work in dire conditions and live in poverty The ordinary people dream of independence and communism starts to exert an influence as a means of change The most important thing taking precedence over everything else is that the plantations continue to make money If we don t have profit we can t even feed our men The second priority which is eual and forever linked to the first is to keep the communist element from rising up Jessie knows she has to support her husband so after a few ears they can return to Paris a success She does however battle mental issues some held in secret from her past some new distressing episodes and a lifestyle of pleasure and gossip makes exposure much of a reality Jessie meets another glamourous woman Marcelle de Fabry and their delicate relationship progresses on a fine line between friend and foe Marcelle is married to a French ex pat Arnaud but has a closer relationship with her Indochinese lover Khoi Nguyen whom she first Met Years Previously In Paris years previously in Paris has a uest to return Vietnam to independence and her first target is the Michelin rubber plantation business With private investigators seeking evidence of wrongdoing they uncover secrets they didn t expect The story is told from the perspectives of Jessie and Marcelle both are influenced significantly by their past and both struggle with conflicting ambitions and previous obligations The suspense is built with schemes and secrets being uncovered although I did feel it unrealistic at times with some plot holes The female characters provided a good variation in circumstances although Marcelle did provide a intriguing background that provided glimpses into the issues facing the region at the time In a time when Indochina s indigenous people struggled with colonial rule and geared itself for a war of independence the story embeds itself in the unrestrained immoral antics surrounding the aristocratic set and personal revenge I wish the novel could have provided a compelling thread in terms of the deeper political and social powder keg which contributed to the outbreak of the Vietnam War twenty ears laterI had an expectation starting This Historical Fiction Novel historical fiction novel wasn t fully realised but I still felt it was a well written novel with mystery and suspense and may resonate better with other readers I would like to thank St Martin s Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC copy in return for an honest review 35 starsI ve always enjoyed reading historical fiction but one complaint I have is that most writers seem to stick to World War 2 I was so glad to see this author decided to branch out and set this novel in 1930s Indochine Vietnam Even though I ve had a difficult time concentrating lately with everything going on in the world this one hooked me early on My only complaint is I felt like there was so much build up and anticipation and in the end it fell short American Jessie Lesage is the mother of a oung girl and is married to a French man Victor who is one of the heirs to the Michelin fortune Yes the tire people In 1933 most people are struggling to make ends meet and that is certainly the case for the worke. Erity and while they have been marred in scandal she needs them to succeed for her husband’s sake and to ensure that her trail of secrets stays hidden in the pastJessie dives into the glamorous colonial world where money is king and morals are brushed aside and meets Marcelle de Fabry a spellbinding French woman with a moneyed Indochinese lover the silk tycoon Khoi Nguyen Descending on Jessie’s world like a hurricane Marcelle proves to be an exuberant guide to ex pat life But hidden beneath her vivacious exterior is a fierce desire to put the colony back in the hands of its people starting with the Michelin plantations fueled by a terrible wrong committed against her and Khoi?. A Hundred Suns