The Rice Paper Diaries
Published by Seren
A poignant novel of war and betrayal.
When Hong Kong falls to the Japanese in 1941, Tommy and Elsa Jones and their baby Mari are separated from everything they know, including their Cantonese amah, Chan. The family must face the desperate conditions of a prisoner-of-war camp on the south side of Hong Kong Island, and a battle to keep hope alive in a place where even optimism can spill over into obsession.
We then re-join baby Mari, now six years old, on her way home to a village on the Welsh coast. Despite the promises of victory, camp life is all little Mari has ever known, and her new home is a cold, strange place, riddled with secrets. Together the story of Chan’s journey to Hong Kong, the Jones’ capture and Mari’s homecoming form a lyrical trilogy of war told from the edges.
Francesca Rhydderch is a freelance writer and literary editor based in Aberystwyth. She has worked as an editor at Planet (1998-2000), Gomer Press (2000-2002) and New Welsh Review (2002-2008), and her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio Wales. She was on the English-language judging panel for the Wales Book of the Year in 2011.