Cover image for Red dream : an exotic novel
Red dream : an exotic novel
Brooks, Victoria, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Vancouver, B.C. : Greatest Escapes Publishing, [2002]

Physical Description:
320 pages : illustrations, maps 23 cm
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Part historical novel, part romance, this exotic story spans Vietnamese history and generations in its portrayal of la doctoresse Jade Minh, an exquisitely beautiful but soulless woman with a secret past; the mysterious Chou, the South Vietnamese Embassy's slippery legal eagle and sometimes counterspy who lusts after Jade Minh with a creative perversion; and lovely Suzette, illegitimate child of a star-crossed union who is adopted into America at the start of the Vietnam War and returns to Vietnam searching for her identity. Lilting on the ear, Red Dream's narrative is spiked with simple poetry like the lyrics of a modern song. It is also a unique visual experience. Images set behind the text or running up the wide margins gives the pages a special appeal. "Steamy and sexy....Stunning and unforgettable" - Christopher Ondaatje.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In her apprentice novel, Brooks the editor of tries hard to combine her interest in history and her experience as a travel writer with a sexy and tortuous plot. Suitably but not passionately wed, Jade Tu Minh leaves her husband in Saigon in 1940 and goes to France to study languages. While there, Jade falls in love with medical student Jacques Duras and becomes pregnant. Jade goes into hiding to give birth and is told that her baby is born dead, but Jacques has spirited the infant away. In 1955, Jade learns from a surprise visitor that her baby lived, and she enlists the help of Chou Yang-shu, a devious attorney, to help her find "the half-caste daughter" of a "dear" dead friend. Meanwhile, Jade's daughter, known as Suzette, has been adopted by a Seattle family. Suzette takes up photography and in 1963 travels to Vietnam to photograph and to find her roots. She in turn falls in love. Given Vietnam's turmoil at that time, her love is as ill-fated as her mother's was for Jacques. Clearly Brooks has a passion for Vietnam and has researched her subject carefully. (She calls Karnow's Vietnam: A History her "Bible.") When she doesn't succumb to overwriting, Brooks can fashion a supple sentence, but as a fiction writer, she is a novice. The dialogue veers from false to corny, and while the characters and complex plot might be plausible, Brooks lacks the skills to make them believable. After enduring one too many passage of exposition thinly disguised as dialogue, readers will tire of straddling the exposed scaffolding that fails to support this ambitious story. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved