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Mr Chen's Emporium - Deborah O'Brien

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'A real charmer and a fine debut.' - Deborah Rodriguez, author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

Mr Chen's Emporium is an enchanting tale of forbidden love and following one's heart...

In 1872, seventeen-year-old Amy Duncan arrives in the Gold Rush town of Millbrooke, having spent the coach journey daydreaming about glittering pavilions and gilded steeples. What she finds is a dusty main street lined with ramshackle buildings.

That is until she walks through the doors of Mr Chen's Emporium, a veritable Aladdin's cave, and her life changes forever. Though banned from the store by her dour clergyman father, Amy is entranced by its handsome owner, Charles Chen ...

In present-day Millbrooke, recently widowed artist Angie Wallace has rented the Old Manse where Amy once lived. When her landlord produces an antique trunk containing Amy's intriguingly diverse keepsakes - both Oriental and European - Angie resolves to learn more about this mysterious girl from the past.

And it's not long before the lives of two very different women, born a century apart, become connected in the most poignant and timeless ways.

About the Author

Deborah O'Brien is a teacher, visual artist and writer. Although she was born and educated in Sydney, she has family links to rural New South Wales by way of her father and her maternal grandmother.


Loved it. Can't wait for the next one


Belong to a book club and this was last month's recommendation. Great.

Sydney Australia


Charming historical


It is the story of Amy, a bright young woman coming of age in 1872, that I found the most appealing in Mr Chen's Emporium. This novel does have its charms, the modern day Millbrooke comes alive and the historical period of the late 1800's on the goldfields, though only briefly sketched, is fascinating. The supporting characters in both eras are well drawn, I especially liked the ambitious Eliza, determined to study medicine in a time when such a thing was thought unbecoming, and Richard even though his reclusive manner branded him a little odd. I also enjoyed the idle chatter of Angie's painting class ladies, and I love platypi, such interesting creatures! I was not so enamoured with Angie's parallel narrative though

Taree, AU


Mr Chen's Emporium

4.0 2


ISBN: 9781742755540
ISBN-10: 1742755542
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 18th September 2012
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Number: 1