At their final marriage lesson, when the priest had talked on and on, Desmond bent his head to hers and whispered, ‘Our world is newer, faster and better—you will see.’ She took his hand in hers then and squeezed it. His skin had a peppery, meaty sweetness, a smell that seemed to stick to her dress, her hair and skin. She named it ‘the scent of men’. Beside her, he snored gently in his sleep, his face no more than an outline, rising and falling in the dim light. She decided that she liked the sound.
Winsome is just married and filled with anticipation. Her new husband is a stranger—one of the suitors chosen for her and the other mixed-race girls from the men who apply to the orphanage. But as the night train rattles towards her new home she sees possibility in this uncertain destiny. She knows she is headed for a new life in the metropolis.
She does not know about Rangoon, this city cradled in the arms of rivers. That it is about to be torn apart in the struggle between its ancient owners and new masters. That it will seduce her, possess her senses and change utterly her notion of what kind of woman she can be. When she meets Jonathan—when the monsoon comes—she begins to find out.
Read a review of The Monsoon Bride in The Australian.
‘[Michelle Aung Thin’s original voice] evokes a viscerally beautiful world and a heady journey into the consequences of love. A wonderful read.’Alice Pung
‘It’s (Graham) Greene-land, meeting place of colonial upheaval, moral ambiguity and tropical sex, breaking taboos of class and race. Of course, Thin’s is an original work, but an ability to conjure up the exotic flavour of Greene is something to admire and it hooked me from the start.’Jennifer Byrne, Australian Women's Weekly
‘Thin is good at conjuring up the frenetic panorama of sounds, movement and smells of Rangoon…With a cinematic eye, Thin plays out her romance against a heavy monsoonal downpour…The Monsoon Bride is a strong debut.’Weekend Australian
‘There is something of Graham Greene and The Quiet American but more, the still elusiveness of Marguerite Duras’s Indo-Chinese novels, particularly The Lover. The author, in beautifully capturing time and place, steers the novel’s characters confidently in an exploration of love and remembrance of things past.’Canberra Times
‘… what follows is reminiscent at its best of the way that E.M. Forster negotiates the inextricability of personal life from political and historical forces in A Passage to India… Aung Thin does a brilliant job of evoking the cityscape in all its tropical drama: brilliant colours, clashing smells and temperamental weather are part of daily life for a city where the growing civic unrest seems more and more the norm, and where people are caught up and tossed around by forces both internal and external.’Sydney Morning Herald
‘A beautiful, dark and psychologically complex love story set in Burma where the characters unfold layer by layer as a result of not only their individual pasts but the past of a colonised country.’Alice Pung