An utterly captivating novel of war, love and culpability set in 1940s Hong Kong.
It is the summer of 1940, and for Stevie Steiber, a young American journalist in Hong Kong, the war raging in Europe is a world away. While longing to be taken seriously as a writer, she keeps her readers informed about society gossip from the Orient, her days at the Happy Valley race-course slipping into dangerous, hedonistic nights.
Major Harry Field has been charged by Her Majesty's Government with investigating suspicious activity inside the colony. He is intrigued by the recent arrival on the island of Jishang, a sophisticated Chinese publisher who owns a controversial political magazine. But it is Stevie, Jishang's outspoken, beautiful correspondent who really fascinates him.
As the decadent British contingent remain oblivious to the cataclysm nearly upon them, the spy and the journalist are obsessively drawn to one another. And when the Japanese army seizes the island, they are faced with terrifying challenges. What will they sacrifice to stay alive, and how far will they go to protect each other? The Harbour is a stunning and utterly compelling debut about war, love and culpability set in 1940s Hong Kong and New York.
About the Author
Francesca Brill is a screenwriter and film maker. The Harbour is her first book. She lives in London.
A wonderfully sage and gripping novel based on the extraordinary real-life experiences of the journalist Emily Hahn in occupied Hong Kong during the second world war * Joanna Kavenna, Spectator, Books of the Year * A haunting tale of love's struggle to survive against all odds. A bold and beautifully written debut * Mark Mills, author of The Savage Garden * Gripping and moving ... Francesca Brill is a very good writer indeed and I was sucked into the story until I was no longer aware of things going on around me, only of what was going on to the characters I had grown to love, and an era I knew very little about but which was instantly fascinating. High quality story-telling * Simon Sebag Montefiore * A fiercely imagined and deeply felt story of complicated wartime love. I could see every scene * Rosie Alison, author of The Very Thought of You * The Harbour is an exceptional first novel: an intelligent romance immersed in its historical setting, and with a thread of steel running through it. Layers of race, role, sex, politics and sexual politics meld to make a much tougher, more interesting novel than a casual glance might suggest. We need more love stories like this * Louisa Young * With shocking vividness Brill describes the violence of the occupation and sensitively explores the compromises, both moral and emotional, of people caught up in desperate situations. It is a romantic novel, but it's tough and tragic too, a gritty tale of passion and wartime endurance -- Eithne Farry * Daily Mail * A tumultuous, passionate, fierce story of wartime love * Daily Express * This is a powerful novel of depth and intensity, and one that subtly changes mood from cocktail- and opium-fuelled larks to despair and degradation * Sunday Times *
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 7th June 2012
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3 x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Number: 1