The Headmaster's Wager

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Description
A superbly crafted, highly suspenseful, and deeply affecting debut novel about one man's loyalty to his country, his family and his heritage
 
Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English academy in 1960s Saigon, and he is well accustomed to bribing a forever-changing list of government officials in order to maintain the elite status of his school. Fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage, he is quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country, though he also harbors a weakness for gambling haunts and the women who frequent them. He devotedly ignores all news of the fighting that swirls around him, but when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away. 

In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage whom he is able to confide in. But Percival's new-found happiness is precarious, and as the complexities of war encroach further into his world, he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see.

Graced with intriguingly flawed but wonderfully human characters moving through a richly drawn historical landscape, The Headmaster's Wager is an unforgettable story of love, betrayal and sacrifice.

Praise for The Headmaster's Wager

"[A] sumptuously plotted first novel . . . Lam goes for the jugular, combining an operatic love story . . . with evocations of Vietnam's occupation by the Japanese and the later horrors of the Vietcong's persecution of the city of Hue. . . . His most provocative character is the shadowy Teacher Mak, Chen's longtime aide-de-camp, whose shifting masks of comrade and adversary potently embody the intricate survival tactics required of aliens afloat in a country of fractured allegiances.''The New York Times Book Review

"A vivid, palpable and lyrical document evoking a forgotten segment of modern Vietnamese history. An unforgettable portrait of love, betrayal and sacrifice.''Shelf Awareness

"A masterfully paced exploration of a world convulsed by war, wherein faith and reason no longer hold sway . . . Lam marshals his characters with humor suspense, and tenderness as the fall of Saigon looms . . . [and] depicts a world caught in an implacable cycle of violence, leavened only by the grace of a father's love."'Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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ISBN:
9780307986474
9780385693905
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID32027664-4a77-9fac-5cf0-4785ca7657be
Grouping Titleheadmasters wager
Grouping Authorvincent lam
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2023-01-30 04:00:50AM
Last Indexed2023-01-30 04:53:40AM

Solr Fields

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author
Lam, Vincent
author_display
Lam, Vincent
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Online OverDrive Collection
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Online OverDrive Collection
display_description
A superbly crafted, highly suspenseful, and deeply affecting debut novel about one man’s loyalty to his country, his family and his heritage
 
Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English academy in 1960s Saigon, and he is well accustomed to bribing a forever-changing list of government officials in order to maintain the elite status of his school. Fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage, he is quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country, though he also harbors a weakness for gambling haunts and the women who frequent them. He devotedly ignores all news of the fighting that swirls around him, but when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away. 
In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage whom he is able to confide in. But Percival's new-found happiness is precarious, and as the complexities of war encroach further into his world, he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see.
Graced with intriguingly flawed but wonderfully human characters moving through a richly drawn historical landscape, The Headmaster's Wager is an unforgettable story of love, betrayal and sacrifice.
Praise for The Headmaster’s Wager
“[A] sumptuously plotted first novel . . . Lam goes for the jugular, combining an operatic love story . . . with evocations of Vietnam’s occupation by the Japanese and the later horrors of the Vietcong’s persecution of the city of Hue. . . . His most provocative character is the shadowy Teacher Mak, Chen’s longtime aide-de-camp, whose shifting masks of comrade and adversary potently embody the intricate survival tactics required of aliens afloat in a country of fractured allegiances.”The New York Times Book Review

“A vivid, palpable and lyrical document evoking a forgotten segment of modern Vietnamese history. An unforgettable portrait of love, betrayal and sacrifice.”Shelf Awareness

"A masterfully paced exploration of a world convulsed by war, wherein faith and reason no longer hold sway . . . Lam marshals his characters with humor suspense, and tenderness as the fall of Saigon looms . . . [and] depicts a world caught in an implacable cycle of violence, leavened only by the grace of a father's love."Publishers Weekly (starred review)
format_addison
eAudiobook
eBook
format_category_addison
Audio Books
eBook
id
32027664-4a77-9fac-5cf0-4785ca7657be
isbn
9780307986474
9780385693905
last_indexed
2023-01-30T10:53:40.338Z
lexile_score
-1
literary_form
Fiction
literary_form_full
Fiction
local_callnumber_addison
Online OverDrive
owning_library_addison
Addison Public Library Online
owning_location_addison
Online OverDrive Collection
primary_isbn
9780307986474
publishDate
2012
2018
publisher
Doubleday Canada
Random House Publishing Group
recordtype
grouped_work
title_display
The Headmaster's Wager
title_full
The Headmaster's Wager
title_short
The Headmaster's Wager
topic_facet
Fiction
Historical Fiction
Literature
Romance

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