A faraway land. A family’s dynasty. A trail of secrets that could shatter their glamorous lifestyle.
On a humid afternoon in 1933, American Jessie Lesage steps off a boat from Paris and onto the shores of Vietnam. Accompanying her French husband Victor, an heir to the Michelin rubber fortune, she’s certain that their new life is full of promise, for while the rest of the world is sinking into an economic depression, Indochine is gold for the Michelins. Jessie knows that the vast plantations near Saigon, recently been marred in a scandal, are the key to the family’s prosperity, but she needs them to succeed for her husband’s sake—and to ensure that the life she left behind in America stays buried in the past.
Jessie dives into the glamorous colonial world, where she meets Marcelle de Fabry, a spellbinding expat with a wealthy Indochinese lover, the silk tycoon Khoi Nguyen. Marcelle proves to be an exuberant guide to colonial life. but hidden beneath her vivacious exterior is a fierce desire to put the colony back in the hands of its people––starting with the Michelin plantations.
It doesn’t take long for the sun-drenched days and champagne-soaked nights to catch up with Jessie. With an increasingly fractured mind, her affection for Indochine falters. As a fiery political struggle builds around her, Jessie begins to wonder what’s real in a friendship that she suspects may be nothing but a house of cards.
Motivated by love, driven by ambition, and seeking self-preservation at all costs, Jessie and Marcelle each toe the line between friend and foe, ethics and excess. Cast against the stylish backdrop of 1920s Paris and 1930s Indochine, Karin Tanabe's A Hundred Suns is historical fiction at its lush, suspenseful best.