Published in hardback as The Courtesan and the Samurai, this epic tale of love and war, of a nation divided and a love that can never be is based on the true story of 'the last Samurai'...
Lesley Downer's mother was Chinese and her father a professor of Chinese, so she grew up in a house full of books on Asia. ut it was Japan, not China, that proved the more alluring, and she lived there for some fifteen years. She has written many books about the country and its culture, including Geisha- The Secret History of a Vanishing World, and Madame Sadayakko- The Geisha who Seduced the West, and has presented television programmes on Japan for Channel 4, the BBC and NHK. She lives in London with her husband, the author Arthur I. Miller, and still makes sure she goes to Japan every year.
"A magnificent, sweeping tale of love and war in nineteenth century Japan. No-one writes about Japan with more mastery of historical and cultural detail than Lesley Downer. I was enthralled by this wonderful novel." -- Katie Hickman
"This tale of a forbidden love, set during the era of the Last Samurai, completely captivated me. I was swept along by Taka and Nobu's struggle to be together in the face of family opposition, social difference and, ultimately, war. The world of the book - 1870s Japan - is vividly evoked. But most of all this is a compelling and intensely romantic story, beautifully told." -- Isabel Wolff
"Against the backdrop of civil war, Lesley Downer has created a rich epic of love, confusion and loyalty. Her deep knowledge, powers of description and meticulous attention to detail draws us into the hopes and fears of 19th Century Japan in such way that you will taste the food, watch the fashions, smell the streets and live through the personal tumult of a society on the edge of change. With Across a Bridge of Dreams, Ms Downer shows she is a writer at the very top of her game." -- Humphrey Hawksley
"Like the era she describes, Downer has united two contradictory themes: love and war. Fans of period romance should be sure to pack Across A Bridge Of Dreams this summer, but those who prize blood over love in historical fiction will also find much to enjoy." * Independent *
"An epic tale of love and war, full of colour." * Choice, July 2012 *