Reviews

Praise for The Courtesan

“It’s hard to believe The Courtesan is a first novel as Curry masterfully weaves a sweeping story that crosses time and continents.” -Associated Press

“Curry offers a fascinating glimpse into China at the moment foreign influences are sweeping through the country. Narrated from various characters’ points of view, this is not only the story of Jinhua but that of China itself. Highly recommended for fans of Lisa See and Amy Tan.” -Library Journal, starred review

“The smooth-as-silk prose, flavored with details of Chinese customs and Jinhua’s favorite mythological stories, heightens the sense that we’re hearing a legend retold…this creative and haunting interpretation spurs interest in the real Sai Jinhua.” -Booklist

“Brightly detailed story of a woman’s efforts to be “curious and virtuous and wise” despite the oppressive forces surrounding her.” -Kirkus Reviews

“A sweeping epic set in a forgotten time, The Courtesan is a beautiful, enchanting book. Full of scandal and intrigue, Curry takes us from Vienna to Peking, from an enchanted girlhood home to the innermost rooms of a brothel to the halls of imperial power. Masterfully told, exquisitely detailed, The Courtesan is a tale I won’t soon forget.” –Anton DiSclafani, bestselling author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

“The Courtesan is the best kind of historical fiction—lyrical, sweeping, powered by an extraordinary heroine and extraordinary, world-changing events. Meticulously researched and mesmerizingly poetic, It is the kind of novel that tumbles us effortlessly into the past, in the process reminding us why that past is so important—because in the end, it is separated from our present by the very thinnest of membranes.” -Jennifer Cody Epstein, internationally bestselling author of The Painter from Shanghai

“In her sweeping novel, Alexandra Curry breathes new life into a worthy historical heroine and the unfathomably tumultuous life she led. The Courtesan is a raw, vibrant, and moving tale of love and loss, war and splendor, and the inspiring leading lady who navigates it all, surviving against the odds while also preserving her pure heart and unshakable human decency.” –Allison Pataki, bestselling author of The Accidental Empress

“Alexandra Curry has a rare talent for bringing the past alive. The story of Jinhua, a little girl sold into prostitution, unfolds against the backdrop of the Boxer Rebellion. It is a wonderful story, told with fairy tale simplicity and no-holds-barred gritty detail. As the story of Jinhua unfolds the reader is swept along, asking herself will there ever be a moment of peace and harmony for this engaging heroine?” –Roberta Rich, internationally bestselling author of The Midwife of Venice