Novel set in Burma

  • Book: Return to Mandalay
  • Location: Burma (Myanmar), Mandalay
  • Author: Rosanna Ley

Review Author: tripfiction



A book of well over 500 pages that passes like a dream. Myanmar, formerly Burma, is gorgeously evoked, and in such colourful terms that it had me wanting to drop everything and book myself on the next plane. I too wanted to walk across the U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world, savour the smells of hot Sandalwood, visit the places described and enjoy the refractive light on the Mogok and pigeon-blood rubies that are all part of the story….

But this is a country that has had a very difficult history and is only just emerging; and Eva, the main character, has to weave her way through the intricacies that are modern day Myanmar. Eva is asked by her employers in Bristol to head out to Myanmar and supervise the export of chosen antique artefacts. At her Grandfather’s request, she packs into her bags a beautiful, single chinthe, given to him during his time in the Far East leading up to WW2, when the country was Burma. He asks her to match it up with its other half (they invariably come in pairs and serve as guardians outside pagodas). It is her quest to do so that forms the main storyline, and she thereby discovers so much more of her Grandfather’s history and life. Add romance and intrigue, international skulduggery and food, flavours and feel of the country, all combined with a gripping read – a book that makes for a wonderful combination that will truly allow you to wallow in a beautiful part of the world.

Pop over to our blogpost where we have an author Q & A, just click here

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021