The Palace of Heavenly Pleasure

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A group of foreigners in the northeastern town of Shishan finds the status quo upset when Helen Frances, a young woman with a middle class upbringing but a fatal flaw, arrives and falls in love with the Hon Henry Manners. The most astonishing range of characters awaits you in this novel; the wicked brothel-keeper Madam Liu and her sadistic son Ren Ren, the pragmatic, rational missionary Dr Airton, the American zealot Septimus Harding, the equivocal Mandarin. Not to mention the wonderfully complicated anti-hero Henry Manners, the prostitutes Fan Yimei and Shen Ping, the bandit Iron Man Wang, the Mongolian shaman. And the ingenue, Helen Frances herself, whose innocence covers an unorthodox curiosity.