An utterly captivating novel of war, love and culpability set in 1940s Hong Kong.
It is the summer of 1940, and for Stevie Steiber, a young American journalist in Hong Kong, the war raging in Europe is a world away. While longing to be taken seriously as a writer, she keeps her readers informed about society gossip from the Orient, her days at the Happy Valley race-course slipping into dangerous, hedonistic nights.
Major Harry Field has been charged by Her Majesty's Government with investigating suspicious activity inside the colony. He is intrigued by the recent arrival on the island of Jishang, a sophisticated Chinese publisher who owns a controversial political magazine. But it is Stevie, Jishang's outspoken, beautiful correspondent who really fascinates him.
As the decadent British contingent remain oblivious to the cataclysm nearly upon them, the spy and the journalist are obsessively drawn to one another. And when the Japanese army seizes the island, they are faced with terrifying challenges. What will they sacrifice to stay alive, and how far will they go to protect each other? The Harbour is a stunning and utterly compelling debut about war, love and culpability set in 1940s Hong Kong and New York.
Francesca Brill is a screenwriter and film maker. The Harbour is her first book. She lives in London.