The Porcelain Moon
A Novel of France, the Great War, and Forbidden Love
by Janie Chang
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Pub Date 21 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 20 Feb 2023
HarperCollins Canada, HarperAvenue
France, 1918. In the final days of the First World War, Pauline Deng runs away from her uncle’s home in Paris to evade a marriage being arranged for her in Shanghai. To prevent the union, she needs the help of her cousin Theo, who is working in the French countryside as a translator for the Chinese Labour Corps.
In the town of Noyelles-sur-Mer, Camille Roussel is planning her escape from an abusive marriage and seeking to end a love affair that can no longer continue. Camille offers Pauline a room in her house, and the two women become friends. But before long, Pauline uncovers a perilous secret that Camille has been hiding from her. As their dangerous situation escalates, the two women are forced to make a terrible decision that will bind them together for the rest of their lives.
Set against the little-known history of the 140,000 Chinese workers who were brought to Europe as non-combatant labour during WWI, The Porcelain Moon is a tale of forbidden love, identity and belonging, and what we are willing to risk for freedom.