The Peony Lantern

Watts, Frances

The spellbinding new historical novel from multi-award-winning Australian author Frances Watts

When Kasumi leaves her remote village for the teeming city of Edo, her life is transformed. As a lady-in-waiting in a samurai mansion she discovers a rare talent for art and falls in love with a young samurai. How could she ever return to the life of a simple mountain girl? But Kasumi must set aside her own concerns. Her country is on the brink of change and Edo is simmering with tension. And her mistress has a dangerous secret-a secret that Kasumi is gradually drawn into…

Set against the vivid backdrop of nineteenth-century Japan, THE PEONY LANTERN is a powerful story of art, love and friendship, and finding your own path.


∗∗∗Shortlisted in the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards∗∗∗

‘This masterfully written and lyrical novel challenges the tenets of the times and a woman’s role in it…an enlightening and thoroughly satisfying read.’ Judges’ comments, 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

‘Lyrical, fascinating and evocative, Frances Watts’ work is always extraordinary’ Jackie French, bestselling author of TO LOVE A SUNBURNT COUNTRY

‘The beauty of Watts’ writing leads us through an exciting narrative, the mystery’s solution only revealed at the end … Destined to be enjoyed by anyone over the age of 12 and bound to be a favourite to be shared within a class, an added advantage is its ‘usefulness’ as a text aptly aligned to the new English curriculum. Captivating.’ BUZZWORDS BOOKS

‘Watts writes with sympathy and appreciation of Japan and the Japanese people. Her strongly delineated characters and lyrical descriptions of place inform a book which will engage the thoughtful reader.’ READING TIME