Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Hundred Suns” as Want to Read:
A Hundred Suns
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Hundred Suns

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  81 reviews
An evocative historical novel set in 1930's Indochine, about the American wife of a Michelin heir who journeys to the French colony in the name of family fortune, and the glamorous, tumultuous world she finds herself in—and the truth she may be running from.

On a humid afternoon in 1933, American Jessie Lesage steps off a boat from Paris and onto the shores of Vietnam.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by St. Martin's Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Hundred Suns, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Hundred Suns

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  101 ratings  ·  81 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Hundred Suns
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Frenemies, Jessie and Marcelle, narrate this tale of 1930’s Indochina. Both have made the similar journey from humble beginnings to lavish living by marrying well. Moving from Parisian student days to ex-pat living as pampered wealthy wives, one married into the Michelin family and the other married the president of the chamber of commerce. Mixed relationships, opium dens, and opulence are juxtaposed with the atrocious treatment of the “coolie” employees on the Michelin rubber plantations. The ...more
Martie Nees Record
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Genre: Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pub. Date: April 7, 2020

This historical fiction has moments of greatness. The story is set in Indochina during the late 1920s and the early 1930s. If you are a history buff, you will be delighted to know that this reviewer learned much about Indochina, the French Colony in Vietnam. Unlike any schoolbook, Tanabe makes you feel as if you are there with the ‘coolies’ during their long, impossibly hard workday. The
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the 1930's Indochine becomes the new home for a young family, part of the Michelin empire, as we follow their experiences and adjustments whilst slowly becoming aware of a uniquely original plan to destroy them. The story unfolds slowly between two POVs and at the beginning things seem ideal for the loving couple and their beautiful daughter Lucie. This is a story that embraces the complexity of human emotions, life experiences and moral dilemmas. Through some close encounters with disaster ...more
A Hundred Suns has all the trimmings of a historical fiction - history, culture, a bit of suspense, and an array of interesting characters all come together in this enjoyable novel. Set in Vietnam during the 1930s, Jessie Lesage arrives in the French colony to begin the next stage of her life as the wife of Victor Michelin Lesage of the famous Michelin family, who has recently moved there to manage the family’s rubber plantations. Set to enjoy her new life with her husband and daughter in a ...more
Jenny Buchta
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was another win by Karin Tanabe. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy her previous works, but this story was a real page turner. Set in Vietnam (Indochina) during the early 1930s, we follow Jessie and Marcella as they navigate the Michelin rubber plantations and Communist uprisings of the French colonial time period. I thought this story was fast-paced and the plot was fantastic. I highly recommend!

Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Victor Lesage, his wife Jessie, and their daughter Lucie, seek to navigate French Indochine [Viet Nam] as the Communists are making inroads. Victor is part of the Michelin family [yes, Michelin rubber] which has vast plantations which "employ" thousands of workers [coolies]. While Victor and his family live in luxurious conditions, the workers' lives are filled with poverty, not enough to eat or drink, and generally abysmal living conditions.

Against this backdrop, we see Jessie has found a
Aug 20, 2019 added it
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Fascinating historical novel set in colonial era Viet Nam. A member of the Michelin family, his American wife and their daughter travel move from Paris to the French colony. Interesting look into background of Communism and what it was plotting against. Haves vs have nots is the central theme. Along the way there is romance, intrigue, mystery and revenge. The characters are well developed and the country is portrayed lushly. It help me captive
gwendalyn _books_
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Thanks 47North for providing me with an advanced reading copy.

My Bookish Links:
Book Blog :
Instagram :

Jeff wheeler, The Killing Fog” is the first installment in, The Grave
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Many thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was initially drawn to this book after taking a trip to Vietnam and was excited to read about many of the locations I had visited. The story based in 1933 is told in two voices, one by Jessie, the other by Marcelle. It was a difficult and divided time for Indochina, being colonized by the French, there were many communist uprisings and split differences of opinion and loyalties in the
In this story, which follows Victor Lesage, his wife Jessie, and their daughter Lucie as they embark on their journey from France to one of the French Colonial territories of Indochine, now Vietnam in the 1930's. Victor has been sent to oversee the the Michelin families rubber plantations as his mother is a Michelin, and he hopes to further his career.
Also living there is Marcelle de Fabry, her husband and her lover Khoi Nguyen.
Marcelle, show Jessie the ins and outs of ex-pat life, which is
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very enjoyable book, and very difficult to categorize. Perhaps all the more enjoyable for that. It's a story of family secrets bubbling up from the past, an historical drama dealing with the difficulties of French colonial Indochina in the 1930s, a cat-and-mouse intrigue tale about two women who are at odds and yet pretending to be best friends; a story about a woman whose sanity is possibly coming apart; a love story that teeters on the edge of disaster with the threat of mental ...more
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's 1933 and we're in Indochine, the French colony that is now Vietnam. Victor and Jessie Michelin Lesage along with daughter Lucie have come to Hanoi to become caretakers of the family's rubber plantations. It is a world of glamour, luxurious homes set in sumptuous surroundings Quite different from that of the natives, who are there to serve the wealthy. But there is an undercurrent beneath the affluent society, not just a restlessness, but something more devious, more dangerous. As Jessie ...more
Barbara Waloven
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This main character had me wondering about her, liking her, questioning her, hating her, rooting for her, sad for her, loving her, saying no no no to her, and happy for her. How can you love and then hate someone within the covers of a book? You’ll have to read this wonderful historical fiction to find out.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2019
I found this book good at times and bad at times.
The main character seemed weak and annoying. I didn’t really care too much for the other characters either. The last few chapters were the best. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy
Michael Morales
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! A compelling plot filled with intrigue and mystery nested masterfully within a fascinating historical time and place.
Nov 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy of A Hundred Suns in exchange for an honest review.

I choose this book because I simply love the genre of historical fiction. It is a tale which takes place in the early 1930’s in Vietnam. Jessie marries into the rich Michelin family and because of certain circumstances, transports her husband and child to Vietnam and to the rubber plantations. Being part of the elite class, Jessie and her husband meet Marcelle, the beautiful wife of a powerful ex-pat.

Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was already interested A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe after reading her wonderful previous novel, The Gilded Years. In A Hundred Suns, American Jessie Holland Lasage moves to Vietnam, or French Indochina as it was then known, along with her French husband Victor Michelin Lasage and their adorable daughter Lucie. Victor is coming over to supervise the Michelin rubber plantations, because his clever wife spotted an opportunity for a Michelin cousin to prove himself in the distant colony, and ...more
Trick Wiley
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
You feel right away in this country and the mystery of disappearance of family! Don't like to tell the story but It's a very good history story and you really are in with these believable characters. You have all sorts of ingredients to make up this interesting story! Don't start this book unless you finish cause them you don't find out everything! Net Gallery thank you! This takes place in Viet Nam a place a lot of It's know nothing about which you will learn in this book!!
Sandra Pipitone
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
very entertaining book! Some information about the troubles in Far East. Interesting that you where disliked because you come from money, Communists and their start, could also be today!
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway and would like to thank the publisher for my copy.


Karin Tanabe's A Hundred Suns is a well-written and engrossing tale set in 1930s Indochine that explores how the need for safety, security, escape, and revenge mix with the politics of colonialism and resistance. The book features for the most part engaging and believable characters. Resourceful and cunning Jessie is married to rubber-empire heir Victor (one of the few characters in
Jena Henry
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stunning!! And devastating! And by the end of this lyrical book, life is as beautiful as the sun. I am mixing metaphors here, when I say that this book is like a kabuki performance. Kabuki is a traditional and stylized Japanese form of drama, and this book takes place in colonial Indochina, now Viet Nam. Still, the sweeping and rich blend of romance, suspense, history, as shown through the food, scenery, clothing and manners of the time is presented in the stylized manner of kabuki. Each ...more
Kathy Ding
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

This merits more of a 4.5, almost 5 star review. I'll go over my two quick criticisms quickly and then jump to why you should definitely read this book:
-for an ARC, there are very few typos. I still did notice 2-3 but overall, this is pretty well edited
-the author could have used more specific terms for the country she was in and the language spoken/talked about/read. She could have mentioned Vietnam or Vietnamese ONCE in the book because Indochinois
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This sensuous, richly textured brings us into the world of 1930's Indochine, where the expat Europeans have it all and the natives are getting restless. American Jessie Lesage joins her husband Victor, a member of the Michelin family on the Michelin family rubber plantation. Victor has been promoted to managing the property and has things to prove; Jessie spent her early life in dire poverty and will need to learn how to manage in what passes for high society among the expats in Indochine. Both ...more
Eloise Robbertze
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe is an historical novel set in Paris and French Indochina (Vietnam) during the 1930’s. It is a fascinating look into the history and colonization of this region, focusing on the Michelin rubber plantations and the communist uprising.

In the expat world of glitz, glamour and wealth the foreigners live like kings and the locals are slaves. There is an undercurrent of violence and danger and everyone is keeping secrets. Everyone has something to achieve, and something
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the fabulous story of Jessie Lesage. An American woman accompanying her French husband Victor to the shores of vietnam during the 1930s. Money makes the world go round and no matter the date, this is always true.

I found Jessie to be quite an fascinating woman. Soaked in intrigued and the secrets that spiral around her, add a charm and mystery to her that made me want to know more and more. The life she leads begins to wear thin and a power struggle emerges around her...... The life she
Andrea Epstein
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A historical fiction gem that gives us a insights into French colonial Vietnam during the 1930's. Karin Tanabe provides lavish details of Indochine, now Vietnam, and the stark contrasts between the excessive lifestyles of the wealthy occupied French and the indigent natives who work their factories and plantations.. The story is told through the alternating voices of frenemies Jessie and Marcella who share similar rags-to-riches backgrounds but are on opposite sides of the local politics where ...more
Kati Berman
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
A Hundred Suns
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was looking forward to this historical fiction, as I have not known anything of the rubber plantations in Vietnam or life there in the 1930’s.
Jesse, her husband, Victor and their daughter Lucie arrive in Vietnam in 1933, where Victor’s family owns the Michelin rubber plantations. Jesse has too many skeletons in her past, which she desperately is trying to get away from. These secrets are not revealed fully to
Christine Lowe
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great historical fiction book. It opens on November 20, 1933 and we see something is really wrong with Jessie Lesage who is frantically searching for her husband and daughter in a train station in Indochine. The story starts again in September with the arrival of the Lesage family to the same place. The author is adept at setting scenes that suggests something is not quite right but the reader is not told exactly what. The suspense slowly builds as the days approach the opening time ...more
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
#AHundredSuns #NetGalley
A Hundred Suns, a novel by Karin Tanabe, gets you caught up in the story immediately. It’s 1933, we’re in Indochine (Hanoi). Jessie is at the train station and her husband Victor and Daughter Lucie disappear.! Or were they ever there in the first place!
There is a conflict between the natives and the French. Michelin owns two rubber plantations nearby. The Indochine natives they employ are treated badly and communists are infiltrating, breeding hate and working toward a
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is part historical fiction, part suspense and I feel that the author had both strong and weak parts in trying to accomplish both genres in one plot line. I had no knowledge prior to this book regarding the Michelin (tire company) history in Vietnam. I found it fascinating and appalling all at the same time. The author’s description of life as an expat in Indochine was well written. You really felt like you were experiencing everything the main characters were. The writing was strong ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Big Lies in a Small Town
  • The Whispers of War
  • Been There, Married That: A Novel
  • The Light in the Hallway
  • The Queen's Fortune: A Novel of Desiree, Napoleon, and the Dynasty That Outlasted the Empire
  • The Borgia Confessions
  • A Good Neighborhood
  • Westering Women
  • Into the Fire (Orphan X, #5)
  • Cilka's Journey (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #2)
  • The Furies
  • Dear Edward
  • The Tenant
  • Pride of Eden
  • The Glittering Hour
  • Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains
  • Cartier's Hope
  • The Bright Unknown
See similar books…
I'm thrilled that my third book, "The Gilded Years," is out now! I appreciate everyone who has read it and has taken the time to rate and review it.

When I'm not writing, I'm reading, running, traveling, being a francophile, attempting to learn Italian, and developing carpal tunnel on Pinterest.

Thanks for checking out my page!

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »