I am a huge fan of Christina Courtenay and was delighted to receive a copy of her latest book; The Gilded Fan.
Set in 1641 and opening in Japan, Midori is the orphaned daughter of a Japanese samurai and an English lady from Plymouth. When the Shogun orders all foreigners to leave Japan or be killed, Midori has no choice but to attempt the perilous journey to England and hope that she is able to find her mother's family. She manages to persuade handsome Dutch Captain Nico Noordholt to allow her to travel on his voyage from Japan to Holland. However, he is reluctant as he realises that having a beautiful woman on a ship full of sailors for months is going to cause a few problems.
Midori and Nico are fantastic characters. I was fascinated by the historical aspect of this novel, especially the Japanese history about which I knew very little. At the very heart of this book is a deep, blossoming love story that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Both Nico and Midori are attracted to one another, but both have secrets hidden away that could tear them apart forever.
This book is fast paced and full of drama, for both the hero and heroine. I really admired Midori and the way that she followed her own principles alongside embracing different cultures. This is Courtenay at her best, it is a wonderful book and kept me mesmerised from beginning to end.
Thank you to Choc Lit for sending me a copy to review.