This debut delivers a history of Bangkok from the 19th century to some time in the future as told by its citizens, native and foreign. Through wars, government repression, revolution, famine and disease, what endures through the long time frame into science fiction is the friendship between two women. Requires concentration because there are so many characters and so much detail but well worth the effort. Beautifully descriptive and atmospheric.
She is a child or a few thousand years old. Would it ever matter? The city will stay this way for her. When she was a uniformed primary schooler herself, walking home along these very streets, she liked to make believe she was a bewildered traveler in a foreign city, drawn forward by alluring strangeness. She couldn't have known then that there would be years ahead when she didn't have to pretend, and years still further ahead when pretending was all she could do