Customer Review

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tea in China, 27 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Secret Mandarin (Paperback)
The beautiful cover instantly captivated me and the blurb sounded just my cuppa tea- a disgraced woman, a secret mission and a quest to find exotic flowers in C19th China.

The book evoked china and its beautiful habitat for me and I could almost smell the flowers, the smell of the sea and the wood of the ship in my imaginations. Sara has obviously don't her research as her knowledge fot he tea trade and flowes during period. However u never feel bogged down by facts

Mixed feelings now im writing my review though at the time I devoured the book. I couldn't wait to get home and see what was in store for the very likable Mary in C19th China. The author created a character who was very easy to emphasise with. It was classic romance with an excellent moody antihero!

Why only three stars then? I don't feel I ever really got to understand the two main characters motivations fully. It is obvious throughout the novel that their childhoods had had a huge impact on the people they turn out to be and I just wished this had been fleshed out more. I would have loved to have read a little more of the life Mary lived when she was a courted actress in the theatre and then maybe her transition to Chinese mandarin would have been more starkly contrasted..

A keeper for my shelves.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Sep 2011 23:52:47 BDT
CaSundara says:
I agree with your penultimate paragraph, and I recently wrote a review saying so - only it wasn't published... The characters were shallow, IMO. Nothing to get your teeth into, and an entirely unsatisfactory ending. Not my cup of tea...
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