“The Dream That Held US took me on an exquisite exploration if a love that crosses boundaries of time and culture.”
Angela Barton author of Arlette’s Story, Magnolia House and You’ve Got My Number
“Deeply imbued with a certain wistfulness and haunting sense of loss brought out by the end of a glorious summer… Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang’s latest novel is a sensitive and skilful exploration of love, longing, and whether life sometimes relents to give us second chances.” Osama Siddique – author of Snuffing Out the Moon
“This book carries a universal message about love and finding your way in the world. I loved it.” Angela Barton author of Arlette’s Story, Magnolia House and You’ve Got My Number
Another stunning Anglo-Indian love story from the author of The Last Vicereine, Penguin Random House 2017.
October 1985, Ash Misra leaves a blood-stained Delhi for Oxford University. Haunted by a terrible secret, he just wants to forget. Music and fresh violence bring him to fellow student and amateur violinist, Isabella Angus, but duty and the burden of history keep them apart. A quarter of a century later against the background of the global financial crisis, Sir Peter Roberts, former Master of Woodstock College, receives a letter from Ash for Isabella. They are no longer young but they had made a tryst with destiny; old terrors and suppressed desires return.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is an engaging story of first love betrayal and self-realisation. Isa and Ash fell in love at Oxford in the 1980s, but Ash left to return to India where his life was preordained. Reeling from his departure Isa becomes a successful artist but feels that she is going through the motions keeping her real self hidden from the world. She has boys she loves, but her marriage is distant and pedestrian and at odds with her true self. A reunion at the university forces her to think about her first love, and when they meet again the chemistry is there but can you go back, and would you want to?
The romance is gentle, but the self-realisation is deeply painful, yet ultimately positive. This is an interesting story with powerful characters and fascinating detail about different cultures and time periods.
Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang is a British author whose work focuses on cultural and historical fault lines and has strong international themes. Rhiannon was born and grew up in Yorkshire and has studied, lived and worked in Europe and Asia. She read Oriental Studies (Chinese) at Oxford University and speaks Mandarin and Cantonese. Rhiannon lives in a former farmhouse in rural England with her family.
The Woman Who Lost China, Open Books 2013
The Last Vicereine, Penguin Random House 2017
Short Story Anthology
Hong Kong Noir, Akashic Books 2019