THE PEARL PAGODA by Susannah Broome


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Fluttery, windy, mid-19th-century romance, much of it set in a China that's as flabbily unconvincing as the muchee thickee dialect and the backdrop-flat natives. Orphan Megan Jones from Wales, affianced to Methodist missionary Arthur, travels alone to Macao aboard the Lotus Wind--which is captained by Robert Hawke, a monolith of muscle, deep-set of eye and rude of manner. Megan and Robert will walk cupid's gangplank, of course, but first Megan lands in Macao and learns of Arthur's death--of opium! Then, on a holiday trip (on the Lotus Wind again) with the kind people at the Mission where Megan has decided to work, the Wind is becalmed by pirates. A battle ensues, the Mission people escape, but Megan, who now knows where her heart lies, refuses to leave badly-wounded Robert. So the two become the gently treated prisoners of mysterious Mr. Yao, on whose grounds is the lovely Pearl Pagoda, where Robert and Megan will spend some many-splendoted moments (one of which will result in Megan's pregnancy). Released at last--after Robert has squealed about an opium cache, which causes a temporary falling-out with Megan--the now-wed couple heads for England, where Robert learns he's inherited his brother's title and sister-in-law Vanessa. . . who'll cause all sorts of trouble before she's shipped out. Like Broome's The Amulet of Fortune (1978) --innocuous.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1980
Publisher: Simon & Schuster