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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Pipe Dreams: A Tale of Seduction and Redemption by Jeffrey Fischmann is a fantastic historical fiction story with a gripping setting in SE Asia in the 1990s. Nicklaus Blake is sent to China to handle a joint business and he arrives Tianjin, China, full of ambition and promise. But China isn't a forgiving place for a Colorado rancher. Not only is the Chinese culture different, but the people think differently and it is hard to know what to expect. But two Chinese women are about to change his life. Su Ming, his assistant, is very helpful in guiding him to understand the nuanced culture and to deal with people, an intelligent and patient woman. But Li Ping, a courtesan and a woman of exotic beauty, who is running away from a gangster, has him enthralled.
This is a gripping tale with a well-written setting, exploring what China was like in the '90s, with the explosions in development, the complex culture and unique realities like the opium trade. The author infuses the writing with cultural and economic elements that paint a reflection of the soul of the Chinese people. The cultural commentaries combine with hints of spirituality to create a complex world for the reader to navigate. There is so much to relish in this novel, from the romance to the exciting adventures. The characters are exceptionally crafted. They are rich, each reflecting a unique aspect of the culture. The prose is excellent and filled with vivid descriptions. Pipe Dreams: A tale of Seduction and Redemption by Jeffrey Fischmann is a beautiful story beautifully told, a delightful read, indeed.