Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Teaser Tuesday, October 9

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read & open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page (be careful not to include spoilers!)
- Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

My teaser this week is from the beautiful and sad The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam. Set in 1960s Saigon, the novel follows Percival Chen, a Chinese man who owns an English-language school in Saigon. Early on in the story, he flashes back to the circumstances of his marriage, in 1941, to a stunningly beautiful girl well out of his circumstances and reach.  It is only the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong that allows his fantasy to become his reality.

A few days later, standing on the deck of the Asam Maru in formal dress, the newlywed couple waved good-bye to Sai Tai, who sat in a canopied rickshaw on the dock.  As Hong Kong retreated across the choppy water, Cecilia said, "I dreamt of Paris, or London, but I have married a country bumpkin who is dragging me into the Indochina mud."
"But you spread the rumor that we wished to marry--"

"Were you stupid enough to believe that I would actually want to marry you?"  She whirled away from him.  "I fooled with you precisely because it was inconceivable that I could ever marry so beneath me.  I did it to keep my mother's suitors away.  If it wasn't for the war, she would have agreed by now to send me to England or America -- in order to get me away from you!"  She stalked toward the companionway, and shouted across the deck, "Now see what I'm stuck with!"  Percival looked around, saw the other passengers turn away. (p42)


  1. I have this on my list, looking forward to reading it. Hope you're enjoying it!

  2. Definitely an eye opening paragraph!

  3. Holy cow! She sounds like a terrible and quite bitchy woman. Your teaser makes me want to read this one!