From acclaimed author Aimee Liu comes an extraordinary novel of love and loyalty, intrigue and survival set against the turbulent backdrop of post-World War II India and China. Flash House introduces two singular heroines: a strong-minded American woman and a mesmerizing young Indian girl whose journey together through a mysterious and exotic land will lead them into the heart of danger--and forever transform both their lives
"I, too, was a foreigner, my homeland a world apart " On assignment in India with her journalist husband, Joanna Shaw runs a refuge for girls trafficked into Delhi's red-light district. It is here in the dusty, sunbaked streets of the old city that she discovers the turquoise-eyed Kamla. Joanna vows to rescue Kamla from the brothel--or flash house--where the eleven-year-old child has spent most of her life. But it is Kamla who claims Joanna at first sight, and when Joanna's husband, Aidan, disappears while pursuing a politically explosive story in the mountains of Kashmir, it is Kamla who must come to Joanna's emotional rescue.
Although the authorities insist that Aidan's plane has crashed, Joanna refuses to believe the worst. Aidan is alive, and she resolves to find him at any cost. Accompanied by Kamla and Aidan's best friend, an enigmatic Aussie named Lawrence Malcolm, she embarks on a dangerous trek across the highest passes of the Himalayas.
For Joanna, the trek to find Aidan is a quest for truth. For Lawrence, it is a rescue mission that will lead to Red China--and an agonizing, life-or-death choice that teaches him the meaning of love and betrayal. And for the orphan Kamla, caught between two worlds, it is an odyssey into the tantalizing mystery of her birth.
Weaving the story of all three into the chaos and confusion of Asia's cold war, Aimee Liu gives us a spellbinding, multi-layered tale in which the ultimate safe haven is the elusive place called home.
LA Times Book Review
...[Liu] has an eye for scenery and a feel for the details of period life in India...memorable...
The ending is a crescendo of bittersweet revelations, in which Liu's ability to probe issues of East versus West rises to a new level.
A missing-persons thriller set in the late 1940s' borderlands of Kashmir, where a determined American wife sets about uncovering what became of her journalist husband.
Booklist - Meredith Parets
Liu's latest novel is part love story, part gripping tale of espionage, and part primer on the tangled early years of the cold war... Richly evocative prose and a memorable cast of characters should win this novel a wide readership.
Carolyn See, author of Handyman
An extraordinarily thoughtful and engrossing tale of romance and intrigue; of heroic individuals from disparate cultures caught in the unforgiving vise of history.
Jack Miles, Pulitzer prize-winning author of God A Biography Flash House races forward into territory that, for most of us, is still almost entirely unknown. The result is an education wrapped in an adventure.
Peter Lefcourt, author of The Dreyfus Affair and Eleven Karens
Beautifully written and emotionally compelling…an adventure full of surprise and delight.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by ACL, Boston, MA, USA
Intriguing plots and mesmerizing characters. Would love to read more of Aimee's books. Bravo!
Against the backdrop of the nearly forgotten history of the partition of India, Jennifer Bradbury, as if with strands of silk, weaves together the heart-pounding tale of three teenagers on wildly different paths, on the verge of changing each other's lives forever.
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