Fortune is a Woman
By Elizabeth Adler
Seven-year-old Lysandra is traveling to Hong Kong with her grandfather Mandarin Lao Tsin. The Mandarin, as he is known, is an export shipping magnate, and Lysandra is being groomed to take over the business. As they travel the streets of Hong Kong, people stare at the unlikely couple – an old Chinaman and a blonde haired, fair child. The admiration between the two cannot be mistaken – they are family. But the story leading up to this is fascinating and extraordinary. This story begins with the Harrison family fortune, and its deep secrets, love, and family connections. Set in a time when scandal could rock a family and business, the Harrison women are built to be strong, yet modest to avoid pretention.
The Mandarin is from poverty, but his business prowess is far beyond his young age. He remains modest and does not bring attention to himself. With the assistance of his adopted blonde Harrison family, he will build one of the most influential businesses and be respected as a fair businessman. But the Mandarin has a shocking secret. One that proves just how far some have to travel for self-protection but never escape.
I love Ms. Adler’s choice of place, the food and beverage choices showcased make the mouth water, and best of all her characters are down to earth everyday people that most of us never have the opportunity to know.
Fortune is a Woman is a few years old (publication 2010), and I believe it is one of her best. Most of the novel takes place in the early part of the nineteenth century from China Town in San Francisco to Ta Chiang, China to Hong Kong and back again. The writing is beautiful and superb.
Her latest novel, Better Than Revenge, is available December 2019.