The three met in the aftermath of San Francisco's devastating 1906 earthquake--the Mandarin Lai Tsin, a runaway American heiress, and a young Englishwoman. Against all odds they made their dreams come true, building one of the world's largest trading companies and most luxurious hotels... They had only each other--and bloody secrets to bury even as they rose to dizzying heights, wary of love yet vulnerable to passion in its most dangerous forms... The Mandarin would pass his multi-billion-dollar empire only to the women in the Lai Tsin dynasty--along with one last devastating truth....Sweeping from the turn of the century through the 1960's, from the Orient to San Francisco and New York, Elizabeth Adler has written a magnificent novel of new wealth and old privilege, family passions and secret shame, of women surviving, triumphant, in the riveting saga of romantic intrigue.
Ok. So I didn't actually read this today. It's bloody long, and I read it years ago.
I loved it back then, and possibly decades later, I remember it still. I actually recommended this one to someone, which is what made me seek it out and read over random pages to remind myself why I thought it was a good idea. So.
Now that I've prompted myself, here's the deal.
This is a multi generational saga. If you're looking for a quick and easy train read, this possibly is not for you. This book requires a sunny corner, comfy cushions, and copious amounts of your favourite snacks. In other words, it's long as fuck.
EA paints pictures with her words. It's poeticism at it's most 90s best. She's descriptive, romantic, and makes you fall in love with her characters because of who they are - not because she tells you to.
EA is the first author I read, as a teen, who made me think heroines were not a plot device. Because of her I realised heroines were actually worthy characters to read about.
The ending makes me want to kiss someone. Anyone, if I'm honest.
Bit Danielle Steele, classic romance, Mills & Boon-ish if you're not prepared.
Written in the 90s, this book is surprisingly ahead of it's time. And despite it's age, when I fished it out today as a rec, I decided to throw it in the re-read stack for July. Good writing, too.