Monday, December 3, 2012

The Scarlet Kimono by Christina Courtenay

  Paperback : 332 pages 
Genre: Historical Romantic Fiction 
Publisher: Choc Lit Ltd 2011
Source: I won in an on-line Prize Draw
First Sentence: Prologue northern Japan, May 1611: The old man sat cross-legged on the small verandah outside his house, contemplating the tranquillity of his rock garden. 
Award The Big Red Reads Best Historical Fiction Award 2011. 
My Opinion Met my expectations of romance and adventure in a historical setting 


This is the third title I have read by Christina Courtenay and I have already come to realise that she is a talented author with a passion for the places that she writes about as well as creating believable characters. The Scarlet Kimono met my expectations of romance and adventure in a historical setting. This time the story is set in 17C Japan and her obvious fascination in Japan shows in the meticulous attention to detail. The culture differences between the UK and Japan are well described and I felt that I had learnt a little about Japanese history when I finished the book. In my opinion it is always a bonus to learn something as well enjoy a good romantic adventure. 

The heroine of the story is Hannah Marston  who to escape an arranged marriage that she is very much against decides to stow away on one of her father's trading ships which is about to depart on an expedition that will take them to Japan and away from the UK for many years. Hannah believes that she will be safe as her brother is part of the expedition crew. Of course nothing is as easy as she had imagined and she finds herself pushed to her limits just to survive the voyage. Once they reach Japan, Hannah decides all the suffering was worthwhile, little does she know her greatest challenges still lie ahead of her. The male protagonist,Taro Kumashiro has been warned of her arrival and that she is a danger of some sort, so he arranges to have kidnapped. However what happens when fear turns to love in the clash of cultures between Hannah and Taro? Survive she does but for the details of how you will have to read the story yourself.

This was a very satisfying read and I think within the genre her novels are well worth reading. If you enjoy historical romance then I recommend you give Christina Courtenay's novels a try. I am already looking forward to the next one.


Author Profile: Christina Courtenay

Photo by Helen Bartlett
Christina Courtenay lives in London and is married with two children. Although born in England, she is half Swedish and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan and she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East and other parts of the world.
Christina is a committee member of the Romantic Novelists' Association. She has won two of their prizes - The Elizabeth Goudge Trophy for a historical short story in 2001 and the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2006.
Her debut novel Trade Winds was short-listed for the Pure Passion Award for Best Historical Fiction 2011. Her second novel, The Scarlet Kimono, received the Best Historical Fiction prize for the Big Red Read 2011, and her third novel, Highland Storms, won the RoNA (Romantic Novelists Association Award) for Best Historical Romantic Novel 2012. As well as her novels, Christina has had four Regency novellas published, all available in Large Print and soon to be released for Kindle.
Her hobbies include genealogy, archaeology (the armchair variety), listening to loud rock music and collecting things.

My reviews for Christina Courtenay’s other novels can be read by clicking on the links.

Trade Winds    Highland Storms     Her latest novel The Silent Touch of Shadows was published in July and is on My Wishlist
The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing.

Amazon Author Profile       Goodreads Profile       Christina Courtenay Official Website

22 comments:

  1. I don't remember these other books that you mentioned, Linda. I've obviously missed out on those. This was a very good review, and would certainly encourage me to read this book. Thank you.

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    1. Diane, I am not surprised there are so many books we want to read, I know the feeling. Do take a look at Christina Courtenay's novels though if you get a chance, as I feel you would enjoy them.

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  2. Good review I read reviews then I want the book but often I just can't afford to buy said book........so have to make do with reading the review.....lol

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    1. Jo-Anne I understand that books can be expensive, but is there not a public library near you? As an ex-librarian I am a great supporter of libraries.

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  3. Sounds really good. We are very fortunate to have many stores that sell books at a bargain.

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    1. I find it difficult to walk past a book store without entering if it is open!

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  4. Wow.
    The genre is so interesting.
    Would love to write on such a genre as well.

    Thanks Lindy! :)
    And congrats on the win

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    1. It was very interesting to read, yes I was indeed lucky to win a copy.

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  5. Yes, I like this interesting argument. Greetings.

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  6. This is exactly the kind of book that appeals to me. I'll look it up.

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    1. Oh do Mirella, I think her earlier novels would appeal to you also.

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  7. Hello Lindylou, I so agree with you about the Library, Lois and I, absolutely love going to ours. This sounds very interesting. I must admit to not knowing a lot about Japan, but I do find their culture fascinating. I shall look out for this.
    Many thanks for your comments on the wedding video...how the other half live, I know! Much love to you, Linda x

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    1. I wish more people felt this way Linda, then maybe libraries would not be in danger of closing as so many are. Maybe you have seen some of the articles I have posted on my FB Extras page. Do look out for this authors books at your local library they are well worth reading.

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  8. Okay so now I remember her....Highland Storms is still on my Wish List. I'm adding The Scarlet Kimono, too!!! I need to get caught up with my reading, and caught-up on reading your book reviews!

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    1. Definitely the time of year to curl up with a good book or two Ricki Jill.

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  9. I enjoyed this one, too. I agree Christina Courtenay writes with a true passion for these locations.

    I can also recommend Highland Storms.

    carol

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    1. That passion comes through so strongly in her writing doesn't it Carol.

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  10. I haven't read many books set in Japan - other than Memoirs of a Geisha of course (and now I come to thing of it Shogun). Thanks for linking this in to Books You Loved.

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    1. Always a pleasure to link up with you Carole and discover other titles readers have loved.

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  11. Thanks for the post...this sounds like a very good book.

    Stopping by from Carole's November Books I Loved. I am in that list as #4.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog

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    1. It is indeed,thanks for calling by Elizabeth.

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