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This is a historical romance that blends fact and fiction and centres around the forbidden passion of two star crossed lovers: Zhen, a Chinese coolie with the heart of a poet, who rises up the triad ranks, and Charlotte, a young Scots woman who comes of age in a world in transition.
She arrives in Singapore to join her brother, recently appointed the head of Singapore's fledgling police.
Dawn has delightfully interwoven real historic figures throughout the lives of her own fictional characters. She has put so much flesh to historical figures like George Coleman, you'll never again walk around the Civic District without feeling it come alive.
East Asia has always been a melting pot of cultures, and nowhere did the mixing and mingling take place than along that storied river. This ultimately though, a love story between tow people which the reality of society then would never accept.
Dawn touches upon this thread of sexual politics, as well as sexual tensions ... be forewarned that Fabio wouldn't not be out of place on the cover of this novel ... but lets just say the sex scenes are as steamy as the Bukit Timah jungle. Immaculately researched, Dawn has an encyclopedic recall of the people, places and mores of the time when Singapore was a nascent colony on the edge of the world...