Perfect for book clubs, Mr Chen's Emporium is an enchanting historical love story, as East meets West in a sleepy NSW gold rush town.
In 1872, 17-year-old Amy Duncan arrives in the Gold Rush town of Millbrooke, having spent the coach journey day-dreaming about glittering pavilions and gilded steeples. What she finds is a dusty main street lined with ramshackle buildings.
That is until she walks through the doors of Mr Chen's Emporium, a veritable Aladdin's cave, and her life changes forever. Though banned from the store by her dour clergyman father, Amy is entranced by its handsome owner, Charles Chen....
In present-day Millbrooke, recently widowed artist, Angie Wallace, has rented the Old Manse where Amy once lived. When her landlord produces an antique trunk containing Amy's intriguingly diverse keepsakes - both Oriental and European - Angie resolves to learn more about this mysterious girl from the past.
And it's not long before the lives of two very different women, born a century apart, become connected in the most poignant and timeless ways.
Deborah O'Brien's fiction debut is a mesmerising story of forbidden love and following one's heart....
This was an interesting, pleasant story, but I'm afraid the narrator made it almost unlistenable. I attempted to listen to just the words as I found the voices used for all the characters were forced, stilted and off.