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Secrets of the Sakura Girls

Paul Callan
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It is Singapore in 1870 and Aoki is a karayuki-san.
Aged fifteen, Aoki was sold by her father and shipped to Singapore from Japan, where she was bought into the world of prostitution. In a chance encounter with Reverend Harry Gilmore and his nine-year-old son Rupert from England, she finds herself drawn to their domicile life. Indomitable, empathetic and resolute, she is determined to break free of her life of prostitution and live the life she has always dreamt of. Against the backdrop of the savage decapitation of one of Aoki’s Chinese customers, Aoki and Harry’s feelings forge themselves into an unexpected bond. Meanwhile, detective superintendent Karupan, of the island’s police, strives desperately to solve the crime and fend off possible religious riots. In a race against time, will the dreadful crime be solved and will Aoki and Harry’s budding emotions grow into something permanent?

Published: Dec/2020

ISBN: 9789814914024

Length: 264 Pages

Secrets of the Sakura Girls

Paul Callan

It is Singapore in 1870 and Aoki is a karayuki-san.
Aged fifteen, Aoki was sold by her father and shipped to Singapore from Japan, where she was bought into the world of prostitution. In a chance encounter with Reverend Harry Gilmore and his nine-year-old son Rupert from England, she finds herself drawn to their domicile life. Indomitable, empathetic and resolute, she is determined to break free of her life of prostitution and live the life she has always dreamt of. Against the backdrop of the savage decapitation of one of Aoki’s Chinese customers, Aoki and Harry’s feelings forge themselves into an unexpected bond. Meanwhile, detective superintendent Karupan, of the island’s police, strives desperately to solve the crime and fend off possible religious riots. In a race against time, will the dreadful crime be solved and will Aoki and Harry’s budding emotions grow into something permanent?

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Paul Callan

Paul Callan is the author of three previous historical novels. The Dulang Washer was published by MPH of Malaysia in 2012, and was long-listed for the IMPAC award (Malaysia Tatler wrote: “[It] kept me engrossed for seven hours straight.”). Shadows beneath the Fronds was published by MPH in 2013 (Book Review: “A very good book that tells the reality of the lives of the Tamils in [Malaysia]”). Epigram Books published his third novel, The Brigadier’s Daughter, in July 2017. (Malaysia Tatler described it as “The Book of Love.”)