The Garden of Perfect Brightness
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The most beautiful garden in the world. The man who built it. The woman who had to leave it.
China, 1720s. Giuseppe Castiglione, a promising and ambitious Italian painter, is recruited by the Jesuits to serve the Emperor of China. But his painting style is rejected as inauspicious. Meanwhile, Niuhuru, a grey-eyed, too-tall girl is chosen as a concubine to a minor prince and sent to live in the Garden of Perfect Brightness, where Giuseppe meets her when he is tasked with turning the Garden into a wonderland for the Qianlong Emperor. But as the Garden changes and Niuhuru is swept upwards to ever-greater importance, is something precious being lost? And will either of them ever be able to admit to their true feelings for one another? Standalone historical novel in a series of four, set in the Forbidden City.