In this lush, lyrical,
and marvelously evocative novel, Catherine Texier takes a mystery from her
family’s past and draws from it a portrait of a remarkable woman, her
great-grandmother Victorine. A young schoolteacher in a quiet province in
France, Victorine had married and had two children. But when she falls
desperately in love, she makes a startling choice, leaving her family for her
lover and a new life in Indochina.
On a single day in 1940,
as Victorine reflects on her past, we travel back with her, from the
willow-lined canals of her childhood home in Vendée to sun-drenched days and
languorous nights along the Mekong River at the dawn of the twentieth century.
Hers is an unforgettable story of adventure and self-discovery, of a woman’s
struggle between duty and independence, tradition and freedom, longing and
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