I hadn’t read any of Duras’ other books, which made her pomposity a bit grating in this work; she definitely takes herself seriously as a writer. This is a trip down memory lane as a teenager in Saigon, falling in love with a 30ish old Chinese man whose wealthy father forbade him to marry her. This was made into a steamy movie with lots of sex in the 90’s. Lots of references to her older brother being a killer, when in reality he was a gambler who squandered her mother’s fortune.
15 year old Duras pops on a silk handmedown dress from her mom, some gold high heels, and a man’s fedora and attracts the attention of a fellow ferry passenger. He insists on giving her a ride in his limousine back to her boarding school. A torrid affair ensued. She insists that he take her family to expensive restaurants, where they ignore him completely.