A stunning epic of Asian history in the tradition of James Clavell, from
the author of The Tapestries and The Unwanted.
Paris in the late 1700s. The France of Victor Hugo. This is the world that three men will leave behind as they embark on a mission of faith and passion in Annam, an exotic land in the Far East. And although they imagine that they will sail into the harbors peacefully and bring hope and meaning into the lives of the faithless, what they discover when they arrive is civil war, warlords on horseback, floods, and famine. In a hostile new world, these three men - François Gervaise, a handsome painter; Henri Monange, a young runaway; and Pierre de Béhaine, a charismatic priest - discover that although they have come to convert the heathens, it is their own hearts and souls that are changed forever. Their dreams of colonial glory dashed, they must reinvent the meaning of their journey.
Drawing from a richly layered history and based loosely on the life of Pierre de Béhaine, Le Colonial is an unforgettable and romantic epic. A shimmering tapestry of swords and silk, it explores faith, passion, and the perils of ambition.
Avignon, France, 1771
The brush was a hickory twig, its end hammered into a soft, pointed fringe. The painter drew it across the canvas, tracing a long stroke of cobalt blue - the light of predawn. Another dash, a smear, a twist of the bristles, and a cluster of areca palms silhouetted the horizon. The only movement was a blur of wind across a colony of stars.
It was the first day of winter. The inside of the church was so cold that he could see his breath in the candlelight. The painting was a rectangle of oils on sheepskin, stretched on a wooden frame. Its image resembled nothing of the splendor and immensity of the surrounding medieval architecture but was cast in the bold colors of his imagination. Hanging by cords over his wool coat was a collection of curios - fragments of broken clay pots, pinecones, a metal goblet, clumps of feathers, a bird's wing. The rest of his belongings ...
If you liked Le Colonial, try these:
Unfolding against the deeply evocative background of Sri Lanka's landscape and ancient civilization, Anil's Ghost is a literary spellbinder.
A page-turning mystery, shot through with adventure and intrigue that captures the Vietnam of past and present --- its beauty and squalor, its politics and people.
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The Steady Running of the Hour
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