From the critically acclaimed author of The Library of Legends comes a vividly rendered novel set in WWI France about two young women—one Chinese, one French—whose lives intersect with unexpected, potentially dangerous consequences.
“East meets West in World War I France. In The Porcelain Moon, Janie Chang exhibits her signature trademarks—lyrical prose, deftly drawn characters, and skillful excavation of little-known history—to give us a rare jewel in a sea of wartime fiction!”— Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author
France, 1918. In the final days of the First World War, a young Chinese woman, Pauline Deng, runs away from her uncle’s home in Paris to evade a marriage being arranged for her in Shanghai. To prevent the union, she needs the help of her cousin Theo, who is working as a translator for the Chinese Labour Corps in the French countryside. In the town of Noyelles-sur-Mer, Camille Roussel is planning her escape from an abusive marriage, and to end a love affair that can no longer continue. When Camille offers Pauline a room for her stay, the two women become friends. But it’s not long before Pauline uncovers a perilous secret that Camille has been hiding from her. As their dangerous situation escalates, the two women are forced to make a terrible decision that will bind them together for the rest of their lives.
Set against the little-known history of the 140,000 Chinese workers brought to Europe as non-combatant labor during WWI, The Porcelain Moon is a tale of forbidden love, identity and belonging, and what we are willing to risk for freedom.