Why did I love this book?
Life and love among the Siamese well-off in the late 1930s. Broken hearts, vacations at the beach, flirtation on a tennis court. The story is driven by the return of a sister (Prisna) who has grown up in America and acquired shocking cosmopolitan ways—wearing shorts to the movies, for instance. It’s an entertaining read, yet deep in its own way, a favorite for someone (me) who lived in Thailand for six years. The book is well known there, but hardly gets noticed abroad. Prisna was written by a member of the Thai royal family, drawing from the world she inhabited. You should always be careful comparing things to Jane Austen, but this has many of the same classic attributes: a domestic focus, the search for a husband, characters drawn with poise and sympathy, prose that never contains a word more than needed.