Based loosely on the life of the author’s grandfather, a professional embroiderer in the court of the last king of Vietnam in the early 1900s, Kien Nguyen has reimagined his grandfather’s amazing story to weave a tapestry of his own: this stunning and page-turning novel.
Dan Nguyen is seven years old when he witnesses his father brutally beheaded by the mayor in a bid for power. Dan’s wife, Ven, 20 years his senior, makes him promise to one day avenge his father’s death. In order to protect him until he is old enough to defend his family’s honor, Ven hides Dan as a servant in the house of the enemy — and Dan falls in love with the one person he can never have, the mayor’s beautiful granddaughter Tai May. Dan’s journey from slavery into scandal, and finally to the royal court where he has the chance to win Tai May’s heart, is a story of spellbinding drama and intrigue, and, ultimately, the story of a great love affair.