Summer 1940. For Stevie Steiber, a young American journalist in Hong Kong, the war in Europe is a world away. Major Harry Field is investigating suspicious activity inside the colony, focusing Jishang a sophisticated Chinese publisher. But it is Stevie, Jishang's outspoken, beautiful correspondent who really fascinates him.
When the Japanese army seizes the island, Stevie and Harry are faced with terrifying challenges. What will they sacrifice to stay alive, and how far will they go to protect each other?
"A wonderfully sage and gripping novel based on the extraordinary real-life experiences of the journalist Emily Hahn in occupied Hong Kong during the second world war" (Joanna Kavenna, Spectator, Books of the Year)
"A haunting tale of love's struggle to survive against all odds. A bold and beautifully written debut" (Mark Mills, author of The Savage Garden)
"Gripping and moving ... Francesca Brill is a very good writer indeed and I was sucked into the story until I was no longer aware of things going on around me, only of what was going on to the characters I had grown to love, and an era I knew very little about but which was instantly fascinating. High quality story-telling" (Simon Sebag Montefiore)
"A fiercely imagined and deeply felt story of complicated wartime love. I could see every scene" (Rosie Alison, author of The Very Thought of You)
"The Harbour is an exceptional first novel: an intelligent romance immersed in its historical setting, and with a thread of steel running through it. Layers of race, role, sex, politics and sexual politics meld to make a much tougher, more interesting novel than a casual glance might suggest. We need more love stories like this" (Louisa Young)
"With shocking vividness Brill describes the violence of the occupation and sensitively explores the compromises, both moral and emotional, of people caught up in desperate situations. It is a romantic novel, but it's tough and tragic too, a gritty tale of passion and wartime endurance" (Eithne Farry Daily Mail)
"A tumultuous, passionate, fierce story of wartime love" (Daily Express)
"This is a powerful novel of depth and intensity, and one that subtly changes mood from cocktail- and opium-fuelled larks to despair and degradation" (Sunday Times)
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