Empress of Asia

Empress of Asia

by Adam Lewis Schroeder
     
 

A sweeping epic story of heart-wrenching love and wartime adventure, Empress of Asia introduces a stunning young talent hailed as the next great Canadian writer The year is 1942, and the world is engulfed by war. Young Canadian seaman Harry Winslow has just arrived in Singapore after the bombing of his ship, the Empress of Asia. One night in the ravaged city,…  See more details below

Overview

A sweeping epic story of heart-wrenching love and wartime adventure, Empress of Asia introduces a stunning young talent hailed as the next great Canadian writer The year is 1942, and the world is engulfed by war. Young Canadian seaman Harry Winslow has just arrived in Singapore after the bombing of his ship, the Empress of Asia. One night in the ravaged city, Harry meets and falls madly in love with a vivacious young Englishwoman named Lily. After a hasty marriage, they are separated during the confusion of an air raid. Harry begins a desperate search for Lily across the Dutch East Indies, enduring hunger, illness, and unimaginable cruelty before finally being reunited with his wife. Many years later, in Canada, Harry sits at Lily's bedside. In her dying moments, Lily reveals an astonishing secret: She gives him the address of Michel Ney, a man who saved Harry's life before being killed by the Japanese during the war--or so Harry had always believed. Can Lily be in contact with a man she never met, and why does she insist on Harry's reunion with him now? Fifty years later after the wartime events that changed his life forever, Harry travels to Thailand to begin the final adventure of his life--to retrace the journey of his Empress of Asia and to uncover the mystery that lies at the heart of the love of his life. A powerful story peopled with unforgettable characters, Empress of Asia is a stirring chronicle of love and loss, of loyalty and betrayal, amidst the turbulence of war.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

British Columbian Schroeder takes the reader on an epic journey from contemporary back to WWII Singapore in his debut novel. After Harry Winslow's dying wife reveals that Michel Ney, a war buddy who Harry thought was dead, is in fact alive, Harry begins a quest that will take him to remote Thailand. Spliced in with the contemporary plot is Harry's wild past: as a young marine in Singapore, Harry meets Lily, marries and loses her in a 24-hour period during the Japanese invasion. Harry is captured and sent to a Japanese prison camp, where he meets resourceful Frenchman Michel. The two are split up, and Harry later hears that Michel died while trying to escape from another camp. Harry and Lily reunite after the Japanese surrender (she'd been held in a women's camp), though Harry doesn't know about the painful secret Lily now bears. Chunks are told in an annoying second person, and the lengthy descriptions of flora and fauna suggests an author too eager to show his research, but the narrator's wry sense of humor and a plot loaded with jailbreaks, desperate sea crossings and daring rescues do much to mitigate. Schroeder's first effort is a well-wrought tribute to lives torn apart by war. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781551929873
Publisher:
Raincoast Book Distribution
Publication date:
08/15/2006

Meet the Author

Adam Lewis Schroeder grew up on an apple orchard in Vernon, British Columbia, and has since traveled widely, publishing stories in more than a dozen journals and anthologies. His story collection Kingdom of Monkeys was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, and Empress of Asia was a finalist for both the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the Amazon.ca / Books in Canada First Novel Award. Adam lives with his wife and sons in Penticton, British Columbia. Visit his Web site at adamlewisschroeder.com.

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