The Silk Merchant’s Daughter

by   Dinah Jefferies

I had never read any books by by Dinah Jefferies so it is always fun to discover a new author. Thanks to NetGalley and  the publisher for giving me an ARC for an honest review.

The Silk Merchant’s Daughter is set in Hanoi in the early 1950s.  It focuses on two sisters, beautiful, Sylvie  who takes after their handsome French father and her younger sister, Nicole, who resembles their Vietnamese mother.  Eighteen year old Nicole has always felt inferior to her beautiful older sister. Their mother died giving birth to Nicole so that adds to her feeling of unworthiness .When Sylvie is given control of the family silk business, Nicole is given a  run down silk shop in the Vietnamese section of Hanoi.

It is a dangerous area because rebels are trying to break away from French rule and will do anything they can to make it happen.  It looks like war might break out.  Nicole’s father and sister don’t believe that there is any danger but soon family secrets are revealed.  Nicole meets two men, an American silk merchant and a Vietnamese rebel, who want to help her, but can they be trusted? As war seems imminent, Nicole doesn’t know whether she belongs to the French side or the Vietnamese side.

One of the things I love about reading historical fiction is that I learn new things about  different customs, cultures, time periods and people. This time period in Vietnam was unfamiliar to me but the author pulls the reader into the story and you feel like yo are on the streets of Hanoi during this dangerous time. If you enjoy books with period detail, political unrest, family secrets, sibling rivalry and romance, you will enjoy The Slk Merchan’sDaughter.

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