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Fifteen-year-old Kate Wolseley lives a rarefied life of wealth and privilege in the expatriate community. But when the Japanese take over the colony in December 1941, she's interned in squalid Stanley Camp with her parents. Forty miles away, in Macau, Sofia Rodrigues' suspicions are aroused when her father invites a Japanese family to dinner, an event that leads to a breach between Sofia and her controlling half brother, Leo. Enduring cramped conditions, humiliation, disease, and starvation, Kate befriends 17-year-old Charles - who's half Chinese - and they give their hearts to each other under the orchid tree. Can their love survive the war? In December 1948, Kate returns to Hong Kong, determined to put the past behind her. Sofia dreams of leaving Macau and starting a new life, and she won't let anyone, not even Leo, stop her. A young Englishman, James, becomes the link between Kate and Sofia. The communist-nationalist struggle in China spills over into the colony, catapulting the protagonists into the turmoil with disastrous consequences.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Expatreader on 09-17-15
Beautifully Written Love Story
Where does The Orchid Tree rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Near the top
What other book might you compare The Orchid Tree to, and why?
Most of the other books I have listened to have been Murders/Thrillers etc so cannot compare.
Have you listened to any of Gill Hoodless’s other performances? How does this one compare?
No, not yet
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Any additional comments?
This is a beautifully written love story set against the second world war in Hong Kong and after. It is not a straight forward love story and follows two couples from very different backgrounds who have to overcome many obstacles such as, the war, their differing backgrounds and family objections. It is a love story that triumphs over tragedy and racial bigotry.Kate Worsley was 15 years old when war came to Hong Kong. Interned with her parents in a Japanese prisoner of war camp Kate meets Charles a half Chinese boy also interned with his family.Sofia is half Portuguese half Chinese who lives in Macau which is neutral territory during the war. Her father is a wealthy gold dealer. James is a poor boy from England who fought during the war and came to Hong Kong after the war to make his fortune.Siobhan Daiko has a way with words and beautifully describes each situation with great detail and makes you almost believe you are there with the characters in the book.I highly recommend this book, not only will you learn about how people survived during the war in Hong Kong but you will also learn about the prejudices people experienced. It is a rich tableau of life during and after the war and well worth the read.
By libra mcl on 07-14-15
great audio book.
The reader had a mellifluous and non-intrusive voice and changed characters with skill. the story was gripping.
I loved this audiobook
and would happily listen again.