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on 2 July 2003
Wow! We all knew that the background of the Vietnam War was complicated, and that most of us had no idea of the depth of the French involvement in the opium trade. This fast-paced historical novel shows French Indochina as political and cultural discordances build up to the Vietnam War through the exploits of Nina, the whip-smart, attractive and fearless daughter of a Vietnamese father and a Parisian mother. That cultural struggle alone is fascinating, but most exhilirating is Nina's unwillingness to stand back from any challenge, which drives this book at full throttle. Anyone thinking that this book is racist is totally naive, both about the time and the place. It is historically accurate, and is terrific historical fiction that creates a lushly detailed picture of IndOchina before the war erupted. You should treat yourself to this novel. It would make a great television series, and hopefully the sequels will be as terrific as this. This sounds like the biginning of a long saga...
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