• Title: The Dream That Held Us
  • Author: Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang
  • Publisher: Bunny Publishing on January 18, 2021
  • Genre: Women’s Literature
  • Pages: 204
  • Formats Available: Paperback & Digital
  • Rating: 5/5

Trigger Warnings: Some Graphic Violence

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang, and Bunny Publishing for providing me with a digital copy of The Dream That Held Us with a request for an honest review.

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The Dream That Held Us Blurb

October 1985, Ash Misra leaves a blood-stained Delhi for Oxford University. Haunted by a terrible secret, he just wants to forget. Music and fresh violence bring him to fellow student and amateur violinist, Isabella Angus, but duty and the burden of history keep them apart. A quarter of a century later against the background of the global ­financial crisis, Sir Peter Roberts, former Master of Woodstock College, receives a letter from Ash for Isabella. They are no longer young but they had made a tryst with destiny; old terrors and suppressed desires return.

Provided by Rachel’s Random Resources for Tour Use

My Review

Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang gives us an amazing piece of work in The Dream That Held Us. The words painted on the page much as if it were a painting on canvas. The prose held me in a trance. I couldn’t get enough.

I picked this book up blind. I had forgotten what it was about. So I went in with no clue of what was waiting for me. I ended up reading through the night until I finished. The fluid rhythm reminded me of floating down a creek on a summer day.

Isa and Ash’s story didn’t hold me. Ash was a selfish jerk, and Isa suffered. I couldn’t understand why he had such a hold on her. Even to the end, I couldn’t figure that out. But the words kept me going. 

Even when there was action, my heart didn’t race with anticipation as it often does with other books. I had a feeling of peace that no matter what happened, everything was going to be okay. It was Isa who gave me this peace. She is a remarkable woman. Ash never deserved her, and Tony even more so.

But Isa is so honest. She is honest with herself about how she has struggled. How hard it was for her when the boys were small. How horrible it was for her when forced to send them off to boarding school. Isa is the be-all/end-all for me.

I award The Dream That Held Us 5 out of 5 stars. Never in my life have I read a story that had me under its spell as this book has. The sheer tranquility of it makes me sure that another book will never touch me in the same way.

About the Author – Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang

Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang is a British author whose work focuses on cultural and historical fault lines and has strong international themes.  Rhiannon was born and grew up in Yorkshire and has studied, lived and worked in Europe and Asia.  She read Oriental Studies (Chinese) at Oxford University and speaks Mandarin and Cantonese.  Rhiannon lives in a former farmhouse in rural England with her family.

Author’s Social Media Links: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram


The Woman Who Lost China, Open Books 2013

The Last Vicereine, Penguin Random House 2017

Short Story Anthology

Hong Kong Noir, Akashic Books 2019

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